Black Press File Photo

AHS will not be delivering babies at the Lacombe Hospital

Obstetrics department cancelled after decrease in parents choosing to deliver in Lacombe

No more babies will be delivered at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) made the decision to cancel their Obstetrics Department — which delivers babies — after a dramatic decrease from 81 babies delivered last year to only 31 babies delivered this year to date. The change will be effective as of Dec. 20, 2019.

“The Lacombe Hospital will no longer be delivering babies. That has come after a lengthy review of our obstetric services and our birth rate at the facility,” AHS Area Manager for Lacombe and Bentley Kimberley Sommerville said.

The choice was purely a patient safety issue and not a budget issue accoriding to Sommerville.

AHS consulted with physicians, nurses and staff and also received patient feedback before they made the choice.

“A growing number of women here in Lacombe are actually choosing to have their babies elsewhere because of the ability to have the surgical backup or epidural, which we cannot offer in Lacombe at this time,” Sommerville said.

Obstetric services requires a competency of training throughout all nurses, physicians and staff involved. With the decreasing number of babies being delivered, it became a safety issue ensuring all parties are adequately prepared.

“Because obstetrics is a high-risk practice that requires a team of nurses and physicians to be kept up on their skills, we need to be able to deliver babies frequently,” Sommerville said.

The Lacombe Hospital already had the practice of referring high-risk births to other facilities. With the change, low-risk births will now also be refered to the facility of their choice.

“Low-risk deliveries can still work with their local physicians to continue that pre-natal care,” Sommerville said

At around 30 weeks, expecting parents will be transitioned from their local physician to a physician for delivery at either the Red Deer Hospital, the Ponoka Hospital or the Stettler Hospital.

“If there is an imminent birth, like the one we experienced here in our parking lot not long ago, we will have the ability to assist in that moment and then arrange transport via EMS to the facility of their choice,” Sommerville added.

Sommerville reiterated that this is not a budget decision and no AHS jobs will be lost because of the change.

“It was not a financial decision at all,” she said.

Expecting families are being contacted by their local physicians informing them directly of the change.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province investigating death of Samson Cree Nation youth in care

16-year-old found deceased outside in Rocky Mountain House

What to do if you encounter a coyote

Coyotes are more aggressive towards dogs at this time of year

Ponoka resident earns PhD in neuroscience

Carolyn Fleck- Prediger will continue work with patients with brain injury

PHOTOS: Pacific Equine Sport Winter Jumper Series

Held Jan. 18 at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Bantam Broncs dish out annual awards

Story and photos of awards banquet held Jan. 16

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal motor vehicle collision

Collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 11 and Burnt Lake Trail

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Alberta privacy watchdog investigates ID scans at liquor stores

Alcanna Ltd., based in Edmonton, runs Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis stores

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Most Read