SSM Health Medical Minute – Hospitals changing visitor policies amid pandemic

Medical Minute

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. – SSM Health has temporarily banned visitors to its hospitals throughout the St. Louis area, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. But, there are a few exceptions including visitors to the labor and delivery areas.

One of the most joyous moments a family can experience is visiting a new mom and baby in a hospital. At SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond Heights and other SSM facilities visitors to labor and delivery areas are strictly limited.

Each SSM hospital clinic or facility will have screening stations at entrances. Visitors will be asked to complete a form and answer questions about their health. SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital OBGYN Dr. Megan Lawlor says there will also be a physical screening

“All patients get screened with a set of routine screening questions like, ‘Do they have fever, cough shortness of breath any other respiratory symptoms.’ Every patient employee and visitor gets their temperature taken at the door,” said Dr. Lawlor.

Most patients will not be allowed visitors but new moms and their babies will be allowed one visitor who must be approved be a nursing leader.

“This is definitely an anxiety-provoking time and so our moms are pretty thankful that we allow one visitor at this point,” said Dr. Lawlor.

And for postpartum care doctors are encouraging new moms to use telemedicine and teleconferencing to limiting their exposure by visiting hospital or doctor’s offices

“We have a weekly breastfeeding conference to call into and we are working on getting blood pressure cuffs approved by various insurance companies to allow patients to check their blood pressures at home,” said Dr. Lawlor

The unprecedented visitor guidelines will be in place at all SSM Health hospitals, clinics, and other facilities until further notice.

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