SVH Chief Medical Officer Addresses OB Closure SafetyJuly 31, 2018
The following letter was published in the Sonoma Index-Tribune July 31, 2018
Questions have been raised about the safety of closing Sonoma Valley Hospital’s obstetrics service as of October 31, 2108, as approved by the board. I’d like to address these concerns and explain the steps we are taking to assure a smooth transition.
Handling an emergency delivery is a required part of every ER physician’s training and something our emergency physicians and nurses are already trained to handle. In order to insure all of our staff and physicians remain comfortable and up to date with their skills, we are providing our staff with additional education regarding the management of obstetric patients over the next three months. This includes:
- The ER nursing staff will have refresher training in labor and delivery as well as newborn infant care.
- The Hospital will run precipitous delivery mock “codes.”
- Up to date emergency neonatal equipment will be maintained in the emergency department.
In addition to taking these steps for our staff and physicians, we are working closely with neighboring hospitals as well as our community and the state to publicize and promote awareness of the transition and to ensure quality continuity of care for our current obstetric patients.
Women currently scheduled to deliver at SVH are being notified that the hospital will no longer have obstetric services as of October 31, 2018, and alternative options are being offered. In addition, surrounding hospitals that provide OB services have been notified of pending closure and transfer agreements have been arranged.
As a point of clarification, many small and large hospitals locally and nationally have ER services but not obstetrics. Fortunately, the scenario of precipitous ER delivery is actually quite rare, and the experience of other institutions has demonstrated that we are unlikely to see an increase in complications or precipitous deliveries in our ER as a result of this closure.
We are committed to maintaining and providing high quality, safe care in all departments at Sonoma Valley Hospital. We look forward to working with our physicians, staff, and the community during this time of transition and beyond.
Sabrina Kidd, MD
SVH Chief Medical Officer