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Sacred Heart's Maternity Department Expands

By: Teresa Moua-Her
By: Teresa Moua-Her

Last year, over a thousand babies were born at Sacred Heart. That's a 52% increase over the last 6 years driving its maternity department to expand.
Before, the department had five birthing rooms and just today, it has added a sixth room.
That is not the only addition to the department, however.
Dr. Frank Khatib started delivering babies at Sacred Heart's maternity department, Touch of Love, 30 years ago and he says there's been tremendous growth.
"When I first start, the birth rate was like 30-40% per month and gradually went up. Now our birth rate here is 60%"
The number of babies being born here isn't slowing down any time soon.
Department Chair, Barbara Piper says they break the record every year,
"We've grown a lot. At the moment we've had 1238 babies so far this year and that's 73 more this year than last year.?
In fact, during the 40 minutes there, three more babies were born. Five labor and delivery rooms just isn't enough to handle this.
"In the past we've had to move some inductions,? Piper says, ?if there was a scheduled induction, there wasn't enough room for them so we'd delay it a few hours."
Now with a sixth room, they hope to accommodate everyone's needs.
That isn't the only addition to the department.
Four patient recovery rooms were also added.
"We keep getting more and more babies every year so we just need another room, the patients are just overflowing," says Piper.
A new $300,000 central monitoring system is now in place to watch over the patients. Yet, the hospital and patients both stress that service remains the critical component to a good birthing experience.
"We even had someone who drove a thousand miles back here to have a baby here,? says Piper, ?so I think we give them a good experience and they want to come back."
And, for the next time a patient drives for a day to deliver, that person should be able to find convenience amid the craziness of childbirth.


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