Hospital suspends OB services temporarily
At the request of administration, members of the Chase County Community Hospital (CCCH) board approved suspending obstetric services temporarily.
The board took the action at their meeting July 18.
Hospital CEO Steve Lewis said this proved to be a difficult decision to make.
“Our greatest concern is to give the best care to every person that comes to the hospital or clinic. We felt this was the best plan at this point,” he said.
Presently, Dr. David Younger is the only family practice physician at CCCH who provides OB services.
He has been on a medical leave due to health issues for the past six weeks and just returned to work this week.
Clinic staff will continue to see OB patients and is working on collaborating with other delivering physicians in the area.
Lewis said as OB patients get closer to delivery, the patient will transfer to a delivering physician. Once the child is born, local providers will provide follow up with newborn and ongoing pediatric care.
Lewis said they hope the suspension of OB services will be temporary. He noted the hospital continues to actively recruit physicians who will provide OB deliveries and C-sections.
Once the hospital can provide at least two physicians who can perform deliveries, Lewis said the plan calls for reinstituting OB services.
In fiscal year (FY) 2014, the hospital delivered 21 babies, Lewis said. In FY 2019, that number dropped to nine.
Those low numbers also hamper nurses in maintaining their required competency for assisting in deliveries.
Another factor, Lewis said, is that the closest nurse anesthetist lives in Grant. While he does a good job servicing the hospital, that distance could be an issue in case of an emergency during delivery, he said.