Hot Springs, Arkansas (October 23, 2013) – Mercy Hospital Hot Springs has reduced the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies a healthy start in life, the March of Dimes says
The Arkansas Hospital Association and the March of Dimes this year partnered in their campaign urging women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy. Today, the organizations presented Mercy Hospital Hot Springs with a banner signifying its dedication to reducing early elective deliveries.
“We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who recognized this problem in our community and put in place policies to avoid scheduling elective inductions or caesarean deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Marsha Oliver, Operations Manager for the Mercy Women’s Center at Mercy Hospital Hot Springs.
Since the beginning of this initiative, Mercy Hospital Hot Springs has done zero elective deliveries before 39 weeks.
“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,” says Scott Berns, MD, MPH, senior vice president and deputy medical director for the March of Dimes. “I commend Mercy Hospital Hot Springs for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”
Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.
Through Strong Start, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the March of Dimes has been getting out the word that “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait.” The campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.
For more than 125 years, Mercy in Hot Springs has served the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and surrounding communities. Mercy Hospital Hot Springs is a 282 bed full-service hospital accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, providing an emergency department with a Level 2 Trauma Center designation and a comprehensive range of medical services. For more information, visit www.mercy.net/hotspringsar.
The March of Dimes offers professional and consumer education materials about the importance of a full term pregnancy and the critical development of the brain, lungs and other organs that occur during the last weeks of pregnancy. More information is available at: marchofdimes.com/39weeks and http://youtu.be/T6XcWBcaliA.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
The Arkansas Hospital Association is a membership organization which for 83 years has assisted member hospitals and healthcare organizations through collective initiatives that facilitate the integration and improvement of the delivery of healthcare services throughout Arkansas. We’re here for you; here for life! Visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.