4 ways COVID-19 is affecting labor and delivery care

The COVID-19 pandemic is radically changing labor and delivery care for pregnant women nationwide, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Four such examples:

1. Hospitals in some of the hardest-hit states — like New York and California — temporarily banned partners from being in the delivery room with women to help limit the spread of COVID-19. NewYork-Presbyterian and Mount Sinai Health System, both in New York City, recently walked back this restriction after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing one person in the room if he or she does not have a fever.

2. Many OB-GYNs are using telehealth for prenatal appointments or having women take their vitals at home to limit in-person visits. Doulas are also communicating with women in labor via platforms like Skype or FaceTime since they aren't allowed to be in the delivery room. 

3. Laura Riley, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, told WSJ the system is discharging women earlier than usual — sometimes two days after a cesarean section — when medically safe to do so. 

4. University of California San Francisco Medical Center is among the many hospitals that have stopped administering nitrous oxide in place of epidurals. Patients inhale the pain reliever through a mask, prompting concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19 through droplets released into the air.

To view WSJ's full article, click here.

More articles on patient safety and outcomes:
How Northwell improved resuscitation outcomes in the ED
Top 10 patient safety concerns of 2020 from ECRI Institute
Pandemic puts organ transplants on hold for critically ill patients

 

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