Epidural (illustrative)
Epidural (illustrative)iStock

The Israel Midwives Association on Tuesday morning responded to concerns that there will be a shortage of epidural kits.

Concerns surfaced last week following a letter from the Israel Society of Anesthesiologists to the Health Ministry.

The letter stated that there is a global shortage, and that the US company which manufactures 80% of the world's supply has been experiencing issues due to a shortage of raw materials caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Midwives Association said, "Right now there is no shortage in any of the delivery rooms across Israel. All of the births in which we use epidural anesthesia have taken place as usual on an ongoing basis. The concern is only with regards to the future forecast, of an expectation in a shortage in supply due to manufacturing and supply."

"We hope that this will not happen at all and we know that the healthcare system is doing everything to prevent it. Even if, G-d forbid, we do get there, we are there with you in order to support every birthing mother during the entire course of the birth. The concern is one of a lack of the disposable equipment which is used to provide the epidural anesthesia, not of the anesthesia itself."

Yifat Hadar Ruvenenko, a midwife at the Beilinson Medical Center and the chair of the Midwives Association, emphasized: "There was not and will not be a situation in which a woman who wishes to give birth with an epidural will not be able to do so. This is her full right, to give birth without pain, and we are there in order to ensure that she realizes this right."

According to Health Ministry statistics, 52.3% of births in Israel happen under influence of an epidural.