Posted in
06/25/15
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Photo Caption: Members of the PRMC Women’s and Children’s team and representatives of the Eastern Shore March of Dimes proudly display the banner presented to them by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Maryland Patient Safety Center in recognition of the Peninsula Regional’s commitment to improving the quality of care of babies and mothers.

Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, MD, has reduced the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies in Maryland a healthy start in life, as babies born too early may have more health problems at birth and later in life, according to the March of Dimes. “We are proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who tackle this issue in our community and established policies to avoid scheduling deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Diane Hitchens, BSN, RN, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at PRMC. The achievement is made even more significant by the fact the PRMC delivers more babies annually than all other regional hospitals combined, averaging close to 2,000 births each year. It also features the Eastern Shore’s only Special Care Nursery for the treatment of newborns as young as 32 weeks gestation and/or weighing as little as 1,500 grams (3.49 pounds). The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth. It affects more than 450,000 babies each year and is the leading cause of death for children under the age of five. In Maryland, 8,914 babies are born too soon every year. 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. At the Maryland Patient Safety Center Conference on June 11, 2015, the March of Dimes partnered with the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Maryland Patient Safety Center to honor qualifying hospitals, including Peninsula Regional, with a banner to display indicating the hospital's commitment to improving the quality of care for moms and babies. The banner program is a component of the March of Dimes “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign, which 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. Additionally, PRMC is pleased to announce that its March for Babies team raised $11,477 at the Salisbury March of Dimes walk on April 26 to support local programs to prevent premature birth.