Pregnant Transgender Man Gives Birth To Stillborn Baby
Assigning labels and making assumptions about people’s identities could cause fatal outcomes. That was the case for one New England man who went to the hospital with severe abdominal pains only to have a nurse not consider it an emergency — claiming that the man was “obese and had stopped taking blood pressure medicines.” But quite the contrary. It turns out that the 32-year old unidentified man was in labor, and wound up giving birth to a stillborn baby that same day.
According to Dr. Daphna Stroumsa of the University of Michigan, this incident points to a greater issue regarding transgender people and healthcare.
“The point is not what’s happened to this particular individual but this is an example of what happens to transgender people interacting with the health care system. He was rightly classified as a man” in the medical records and appears masculine, Stroumsa said. “But that classification threw us off from considering his actual medical needs.”
The man revealed to the nurse that he was transgender when he arrived at the emergency room. He even disclosed that he was he hadn’t had a period in several years and had been taking testosterone. Unfortunately, he had to quit taking the hormone and blood pressure medication after he lost insurance.
“Several hours later, a doctor evaluated him and the hospital test confirmed pregnancy. An ultrasound showed unclear signs of fetal heart activity, and an exam revealed that part of the umbilical cord had slipped into the birth canal. Doctors prepared to do an emergency cesarean delivery, but in the operating room no fetal heartbeat was heard. Moments later, the man delivered a stillborn baby.”
Clearly, the healthcare system has to do more to raise medical awareness. SMH.