NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Many of the risks associated with COVID-19 are still unknown, especially for pregnant women and the virus’ impact on an unborn child.
Providers at St. Thomas Midtown explained to News 2 how they’re navigating the uncertain time through their obstetrics emergency department (OB-ED).
“When a pregnant patient walks in the door, there is somebody who is qualified to evaluate that patient on an emergency basis and provide appropriate triage for her, such that we can appropriately care for multiple issues at the correct time,” said Dr. Reagan Saig of Obstetrics at St. Thomas Midtown.
The new department was unveiled this summer and features five rooms with several backflow rooms should the hospital see a spike in emergency obstetric patients.
Saig said the largest difference between the obstetrics emergency department and the hospital’s other emergency facility is the highly specified care offered by the obstetrics providers.
“People who are trained to take care of pregnant women will know that there’s a difference in a normal healthy woman who is 30-years-old and a normal healthy 30-year-old, who is pregnant at 38 weeks,” Saig said.
Rebecca Brown, an expectant mother, is preparing to have her third child at St. Thomas Midtown.
She was always diagnosed with COVID-19 halfway through her pregnancy. She credits the OB-ED at St. Thomas Midtown for her recovery and ensuring her unborn baby was safe.
“Having to go to the ER, especially for something scary like COVID- I mean pretty much when I walk in the door the first thing I want to know is that the baby is okay,” Brown said. “One of the first things they did was hook me up to a baby monitor.”
Saig said the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus in pregnant women means the hospital must take extensive measures to ensure each woman in the OB-ED is tested for the virus.
St. Thomas says if an expectant mom tests positive for COVID-19, she is immediately isolted within the department.
“We certainly have had some critically ill patients who have been in the intensive care unit, to some patients who have had a more mild disease. When a pregnant woman gets sick, you’re thinking about two individuals instead of just one, and that always complicates the issues,” Saig said.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.