With 35 babies born so far at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 88th Medical Group’s Maternal Child Care Inpatient Flight has made some procedural changes to help ensure the safety of its patients and staff.
“Labor and Delivery remains committed to providing our moms with the best experience during the birth of their child while ensuring the safety of our patients and their families,” said Maj. Jennifer McGough, 88th Medical Group’s Maternal Child Care Inpatient Flight commander.
“We understand that recent events may cause additional stress and anxiety to our patients, so we are working hard to alleviate some of those fears.”
The most visible changes revolve around the screening process prior to entering the hospital, a more restrictive visitor policy and use of COVID-19 preventive procedures and personal protective equipment.
While births at Wright-Patterson Medical Center continue as planned, McGough stresses that “it is always important to call before presenting to the Labor and Delivery Unit so that we can give you the most appropriate advice depending on the current situation.”
Also, as of April 1, the medical center added a visitor policy that includes only one guest for delivering mothers, similar to other local hospitals. Labor and Delivery staff also ask that those guests limit entering and exiting the hospital while the patient is admitted.
To protect everyone, the 88th MDG has policies to care for patients on site, whether or not they have COVID-19.
McGough said expectant mothers who present to the hospital in labor and have tested positive for COVID-19 or screen as a person under investigation will be cared for by the Labor and Delivery staff in a separate unit.
“Our Labor and Delivery team works very hard to establish trust and rapport between the health care team and the patient beginning with their first prenatal appointment all the way through their inpatient stay. We take the health and lives of our staff and patients very seriously and have been working hard to ensure we have the most up-to-date information on ways to protect those lives,” said McGough.
In addition to those changes and in lieu of in-person tours, the Labor and Delivery staff is working on developing a virtual tour and online option for sharing its birth class information with patients.
For now, patients can receive a copy of the birth handbook that is provided to expectant mothers during the birth class by calling the Perinatal Center at 937-257-1938. When they are discharged, another available resource is the New Parent Support Program.
Even with all the changes brought about by COVID-19, the desire to assist and provide patients with their best possible birthing experience is always apparent.
“Our staff is wonderful, and their teamwork is nothing short of amazing,” said McGough. “The staff continually checks in on one another and are making sure to keep some laughter present throughout each day.”
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