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Brandon Regional Hospital Implements New National Initiative

November 15, 2011

Brandon, Florida – Brandon Regional Hospital has announced that it has implemented an initiative to only perform elective deliveries after 39 weeks gestation, unless medically indicated.  This initiative is becoming widespread throughout the nation. However, according to Brenda Hill, Director of Labor, Delivery & Antepartum, Brandon Regional Hospital and HCA the Healthcare Company, implemented this initiative before it became a national movement.

Many United States hospitals frequently deliver babies before 39 weeks gestation without a medical indication, according to data released early this year by The Leapfrog Group, an employer funded organization that seeks to improve healthcare quality and safety. According to Ms.Hill there are many reasons why parents choose “elective” deliveries. “Thirty-seven weeks are regarded as full term, but during the extra two weeks critical development occurs in the baby’s brain, liver, and lungs.

The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists says elective deliveries should not be done before 39 weeks gestation. Such deliveries are likelier than spontaneous births to require a Caesarian section, result in postpartum maternal complications and send babies to neonatal intensive care units.

This initiative is being highly promoted by the March of Dimes. “Too many babies are delivered early without a solid medical rationale such as hypertension near the end of pregnancy,” said Allen R. Fleischman, MD, Senior Vice President and Medical Director of the March of Dimes, a not-for-profit that targets premature births and birth defects. “There are instances when early delivery is medically necessary for the health of the mother or the child,” he said.

The physicians at Brandon Regional Hospital now attempt to perform no “elective” deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation unless medically indicated. “Brandon Regional Hospital physicians are 100% on board with this initiative,” added Brenda Hill.

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