Interview: Protocols and Procedures to Protect OB Patients at Maui Memorial Medical Center

July 2, 2020, 4:24 PM HST · Updated July 2, 4:24 PM
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A radio segment featuring executives and doctors with Maui Health runs Thursdays at 7:19 a.m. on KPOA 93.5 FM.  The series provides updates and answers questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s guest is Dr. Jennifer Mathieu, an OBGYN with Maui Lani Physicians and Surgeons and OB Department Chair for Maui Health.  Her and her team have set up protocols to protect OB patients providers and staff at the Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Mathieu spoke with KPOA’s Shane Kahalehau, discussing safe baby delivery and COVID-19 testing for OB patients.

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“For our mothers that have scheduled procedures, like labor induction, or cesarean deliveries, her OBGYN provider is going to schedule the COVID test for her within 72 hours prior to going to the hospital. A lot of cases will be done right in the provider’s office, but if not, they’re going to schedule it at one of the nearby primary care offices,” said Dr. Mathieu.

“The rest of the mothers that come in unscheduled for labor–once the decision is made she is going to be admitted.  The nurse in labor and delivery will do that COVID swab.  So our moms don’t need to fear that COVID testing is going to delay their admission or transfer to the labor unit,” she said.

The test takes about three hours to complete, so results will be available on the same day as admission and care can be adjusted if needed.

“While waiting for test results, each mother is still treated based on symptoms.  So if there’s fever or cough or anything like that, we’ll make sure that she’s appropriately cared for,” said Dr. Mathieu.

Dr. Mathieu added, “all of our labor rooms are private rooms, so again, while we’re waiting for any testing, all of our moms are safe.”

When there is a COVID-19 patient being treated in the hospital,

“For starters, our labor and delivery and postpartum units are each closed units.  That means there’s no flow through from other places in the hospital.  And the two units are right next to each other, so we don’t have to travel far if going from delivery to the postpartum unit.  While labor and delivery has its own Operating Room, she doesn’t have to travel outside that safe unit.  Our nurses rarely float to other areas in hospital where there might be COVID patients,” said Dr. Mathieu.

At postpartum care, Dr. Mathieu said babies are now having all of their care in the room with their mother and support person.  “This avoids having the babies together in the nursery and potentially contaminating.  Each patient, support person and nurse are wearing masks.  There’s protocols to wear additional appropriate protective equipment if we have a possible COVID patient,” said Dr. Mathieu.

There are also three dedicated rooms in a separate alcove quarantined off from the postpartum unit.  The unit has a HEPA filter and a mother using the room can stay in it for labor, delivery and postpartum care.  The unit will also have a dedicated nurse who is not taking care of any other patients.

Any support person that has a fever or symptoms will be asked not to enter the facility, but they will not have to take a COVID-19 test ahead of time or during their stay, according to Maui Health.

Additional information regarding safe baby deliver at Maui Memorial Medical Center is available here.

Visit the KPOA.com Facebook page to submit your question for consideration.  Questions can also be sent via text to 893-8935 or email [email protected]

The schedule for the week of April 6 to 10 includes the following: *(Subject to change).

  • Thursday, July 9: Dr. Michael Shea, ICU Medical Director & EOC Physician Lead, Maui Health
  • Thursday, July 16: Michael Rembis, Chief Executive Officer, Maui Health

*Note: KPOA 93.5 FM is part of the Pacific Media Group family of radio stations.  Pacific Media Group is the parent company of Maui Now.

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