Originally Posted by z2akids
The hospital's first priority with any patient is safety. These are things that are evidenced based to keep patients safe. The problem is that the people who are more likely to refuse an IV and insist on eating are also likely to be the same people who don't want to be monitored, want to avoid exams, etc. All in all, those patients are the ones who - if something goes wrong - are less likely to be caught early due to the cascade of choices that are made.
I suppose if you really wanted to look at it, these policies are not completely enforceable. No hospital has the staffing for 24/7 continuous care of every patient who might need emergency surgery. If you want to sneak food, then you will have opportunities to do so. The hospital however will make your status NPO, which means that food services is not going to bring you a tray. In an emergency, you cannot uneat the food in your stomach. And, because your digestive system slows during labor/delivery, anything you eat is going to sit around longer to be aspirated in an emergency. Honestly, my first two labors were both close to 24 hours and I don't think I ever once thought about food. My body was far too busy doing something else (and my digestive tract was slow) to be worried about food.
The difference with paramedics is that those people who are bleeding out in the ambulance are already dead without extreme circumstances. If they get in a line, great. If they don't, they don't. Anyone in that situation who makes it to the hospital alive and survives is a life saved that would otherwise have been list. Those paramedics are good, but sometimes they cannot get a normal IV started. When they can't, they can put in an interosseous line. An IO line goes into the bone. It is quick, efficient, nearly certain access and definitely used in emergencies and not routinely. No one is sitting in the ambulance trying over and over to stick a patient who is bleeding out. A try or two and they move on to IO or other options.
However, in the hospital, if a mom in labor begins to hemorrhage, and they cannot get a line in, it is 2 lives lost that should have been saved. Absolutely an IO line can be put in in the hospital. But, there is increased risk of infection. Removal is very painful. But, if you refuse IV access during labor, it may be the only quick means of knocking you out for an emercency C-section or other lifesaving treatment. No one plans to be the person will need emergency access. If we could plan that, then we could avoid putting IVs in the majority of hospital patients.