The Norman Transcript

Features

March 23, 2014

AmeriCares Equips maternity unit at HealthPlex

NORMAN — AmeriCares is outfitting the Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at the HealthPlex hospital in Norman with new medical equipment to help meet the increase in demand for maternity care since the May tornadoes destroyed the hospital in Moore.

The nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization recently awarded more than $130,000 in funding to the Norman Regional Health Foundation that allowed the Norman Regional Health System to purchase new equipment for five labor and delivery rooms and one operating room at the HealthPlex.

New bassinets, oxygen machines and monitors, as well as Panda Warmers to help newborns regulate body temperature, have been purchased. The hospital also acquired an additional monitor to measure a newborn’s vital signs after a caesarian section.

“Thanks to AmeriCares, everything the staff needs is right there in the room during a delivery. There is no more shuffling equipment or moving patients to better equipped rooms,” said Susie Graves, director of Patient Care Services for Norman Regional Health System. “It just elevates the quality of care.”

The number of births at the HealthPlex have increased from 220 per month to as many as 280 per month since the destruction of Moore Medical Center’s Family Birth Center five miles away.

To accommodate the overflow of maternity patients from Moore, which is also part of the Norman Regional Health System, the HealthPlex is using five additional hospital rooms for labor and delivery patients but needed the proper nursery equipment on hand to fully outfit each one.

Construction on a new, $29 million Moore Medical Center is expected to begin in the spring, but the new facility will not have a maternity unit when it opens in 2016. All labor and delivery services for the area will be provided at the HealthPlex. Nearly half of HealthPlex patients are low-income and receive Medicaid benefits.

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