SRMC Honored for Labor & Delivery Work

March 20, 2018

Starr Regional Medical Center was recognized by March of Dimes for significantly reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries - performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy - to less than one percent.

March of Dimes strives to prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. According to March of Dimes, the rate of infant death is more than twice as high for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy compared to infants born at 40 weeks, and babies who survive an early birth have a higher risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities.

"The last weeks of pregnancy are important. Babies aren't just putting on weight; they are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs. We commend Starr Regional for being a champion for babies with its quality improvement efforts," said Dr. Paul E. Jarris, March of Dimes Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.

"We worked really hard with the physicians. The goal is to have basically no elective deliveries less than 39 weeks," said Lisa Kinard, RN, Starr Regional's Director of Women's and Children's Services. "The reason is because anything less than 39 weeks is like a late pre-term baby, and they have more complications, longer hospital stays, a lot of feeding issues, and they don't transfer as easily. For years and years, if babies were 37 or 38 weeks, they didn't think it was an issue, but they do have more problems. They have respiratory issues, blood sugar problems, feeding issues, and they're here longer. Doing this makes it better for the baby, as long as mom and baby are healthy."

Kinard explained circumstances that may warrant delivery prior to 39 weeks.

"Now, if you have an emergency or multitudes of medical problems, you can end up here early and have an early delivery. They may suffer some complications, but because of the complications the mother or baby was having it may be a better choice. Our obstetricians, pediatricians, and our committees are here to make this work. Communication is key. We want the best for the patient and the baby, but at the same time you've got to weigh what your risk factors are. They do really well," said Kinard.

"There's so much happiness for the most part about people coming in to have babies," Kinard said. "You try to make it the best experience they can have. There may be a few bad experiences, too, but then you also have to figure out in the midst of the bad experience, how to make it the best experience for them and for the family. We are very community-oriented, very connected, and give them special attention. I have a great staff that helps take care of people."

Courtesy: Ashley Copeland
Staff Writer, The Daily Post Athenian