COVID-19 protocols shortened hospital stays for moms and babies, Cedars-Sinai study finds

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

Infection control practices implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significantly shorter lengths of stay for new mothers and their babies at Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM

Cedars-Sinai modified infection control practices in its labor and delivery unit in March.  Changes included temperature checks for all patients and visitors, use of personal protective equipment for staff and designated triage areas for women suspected of having COVID-19. 

Researchers examined the maternal and neonatal outcomes for every delivery at Cedars-Sinai between Jan. 1 and April 30. They compared these outcomes to data for the same time period in 2018 and 2019 to assess whether any differences were unique to 2020.

After implementing the COVID-19 protocols, 48.5 percent of women who delivered vaginally stayed in the hospital for just one night, compared to 24.9 percent of women before the new protocols took effect. Researchers found a similar trend for women who had C-sections, and there were no increases in adverse outcomes for either delivery method.

"In the absence of long-term adverse outcomes occurring after discharge that are tied to earlier release, our study results may support a review of our discharge protocols once the pandemic subsides to move toward safely shortening maternal and newborn lengths of stay," researchers concluded. 


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