Virginia

Warren Memorial hospital to move forward without Birthing unit

Many community members and expecting mothers with questions

FRONT ROYAL, Va. - The news that Warren Memorial Hospital will discontinue their obstetric services has left many people in the community with questions. 

"Emergency c-sections what if there's a placental abruption and the mother and the child's lives are in jeopardy, do they know how to deal with that? Will people be turned away? Will there be enough room?  Michelle Matthiae of Front Royal says. 

Hospital administration and staff have been trying to reassure community members and mothers-to-be that although they will no longer have a birthing unit they will be prepared serve mothers who cannot make it to Winchester medical center while in labor. 

"We will still have on call G-Y-N's , every now and then women deliver on an E-R weather we have the services or not, it happens."  Julian Martinez Valley Health OBGYN specialist says. 

Jamie Showers had her first born at the hospital via emergency c section  and says with the challenges she had there's no way she could've made the 30 minute trip to Winchester, nor would she had felt comfortable in an emergency room. 

"As a first time mom that was terrifying to me I can't imagine being in an emergency room with rooms filled up and just me there, my sons heart rate was dropping I was terrified, I just cant even imagine it." Showers says. 

Hospital officials say they considered the town's age demographic, the amount of residents that choose other hospitals, and the average of one baby being born at the hospital per day. 

"Age cohorts were increasing more than others and we really frankly looked at out current utilization and we realized about a third of our patients in Warren County already choose Winchester Medical Center to have their babies delivered."  Floyd Heater of Warren Memorial Hospital says. 

Michelle Matthiae says she doesn't see how discontinuing the unit will help the community in any way.

"I was shocked actually because our town is growing leaps and bounds and as a mom this is my community and why would somebody want to move here, if they cant have a baby here?" Matthiae says. 

Hospital officials say they're OBGYN services will continue and be more available for pre natal and post baby care. They also say they will continue to track trends and always consider whats best for the community. 

"The campus does lend itself to future development there's lots of acreage there and other parcels that can be developed  so I would say we would not take a future birthing center and labor and delivery unit off the table." Heater says. 

Hospital officials will be meeting with citizens next week to hear their concerns and answer questions. 


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