Mission Health's Blue Ridge Hospital to end labor and delivery services Sept. 30

Mission Health's board of directors voted Monday to close Spruce Pine, N.C.-based Blue Ridge Hospital's labor and delivery department, reports ABC News 13.

Here are three things to know.

  1. Mission Health first announced plans to terminate labor and delivery services in May. The vote comes a month after the health system shared similar plans to close the labor and delivery unit at Angel Medical Center in Franklin, N.C., according to the report.

  1. Mission Health officials expect infant deliveries at Blue Ridge to end by September 30. The health system seeks to consolidate labor and delivery services in the county, where only 173 babies were born last year.

  1. Protestors united outside of Blue Ridge Hospital following the decision, urging the board to keep the labor and delivery unit open. They said the closure will put more babies at risk if women are forced to travel about 20 miles to Marion, N.C., or about 50 miles to Asheville, N.C., to give birth.

More articles on patient flow:
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Massachusetts hospital to end labor and delivery services
Fire department rescue ambulance driver, patient after vehicle slides into Louisiana canal

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