New obstetrics facilities open up at Red Deer Regional Hospital

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
April 10, 2017 - 3:00pm Updated: April 10, 2017 - 4:22pm

Consider it signed, sealed and now, delivered.

At the Red Deer Regional Hospital Monday morning, the ribbon was cut on two brand new obstetrical operating rooms.

The $9.7 million project was announced in January 2014 and construction began about a year later.

In addition to the rooms, which will ensure improved access for emergency and schuled C-sections, a new recovery area means parents can spend more time with their bundle of joy more quickly following birth.

"This expansion is a wonderful project that's making life better for growing families in Red Deer and central Alberta," said Brandy Payne, Associate Minister of Health.

The new facilities have already been put to work. On April 3, parents Veronica Clarke and James Lewis welcomed third child Ilandra Lewis to the world.

Clark spoke about her previous experiences, noting the time she had to spend away from her newborns immediately following birth. She said that separation contributed to post-partum depression and struggles with breastfeeding.

"Being able to nurse my baby and enjoy skin-to-skin contact with our tiny newborn was a wonderful experience for my partner and me," she said. "The difference between bringing Ilandra into the world and my previous deliveries was night and day as it was so great to be able to enjoy those moments so soon after the birth of our third baby."

Completion of these improvements is also expected to increase the number of general surgeries which are able to take place in the hospital's general operating room by about 330 annually.

The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation contributed $1.2 million to the project from Festival of Trees and other events. The money was used to purchase baby warming centres, fetal monitors, physiological monitoring equipment and anesthetic machines.

Approximately 2,700 babies are born at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre each year, including about 480 emergency C-sections and 420 elective C-sections.

Red Deer Regional is the only referral centre for obstetrics in central Alberta.

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