July 21, 2014
Blacksburg, VA, July, 2014 – Scheduling a baby’s date of delivery without a medical reason, even just one to two weeks before their due date, can increase their risk for health problems. It’s the reason LewisGale Hospital Montgomery has been on a mission over the last two years to reduce the number of elective deliveries at its hospital before 39 weeks of pregnancy. The hospital was recently recognized by the March of Dimes and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association as one of only 26 hospitals in the state who have successfully reduced preterm births.
"We want to give all babies the best start in life," said Marjorie Young, Director of Women’s Health Services. "We know those last few weeks in the womb are critical for organ development especially for the brain and lungs. I’m extremely proud of our team of physicians and nurses for leading the charge on this important initiative and for being champions for babies."
Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.
You can find more information online at marchofdimes.com/39weeks.
About LewisGale Hospital Montgomery
LewisGale Hospital Montgomery is a part of LewisGale Regional Health System which includes 44 HCA-owned patient care facilities including 4 hospitals, 2 regional cancer centers and a multidisciplinary cancer clinic, 6 outpatient centers and affiliations with nearly 700 physicians, including 146 employed providers and more than 500 independent physicians. With 3,300 employees, its annual payroll is $230.1 million. The system also paid $41 million in taxes and provided more than $106 million in uncompensated care to those most in need in 2012 alone. LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Commonwealth with nearly 15,000 employees. For more information see www.lewisgale.com.