August 5, 2020

Tampa General Hospital is First in Nation to Receive Dual Recognition for Key Maternal Health Programs

| 7/27/2020

TAMPA, Fla.July 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Tampa General Hospital is first in the nation to receive dual recognition for two key maternal health programs, providing women advanced services when it comes to labor and delivery. The Maternal Safety Foundation has recognized Tampa General Hospital as a Maternal Center of Excellence in both areas.

"Mothers who choose to give birth at Tampa General expect the very best and safest care, and that's why we're so pleased to receive this recognition from the Maternal Safety Foundation," said Dr. Judette Louis, the Co-Director of Women and Children's Services at Tampa General Hospital.  

Dr. Louis, who is a specialist in high risk obstetrics and an associate professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Florida, said this designation will help women make decisions about where to deliver. "We're proud to be the first in the United States to be named as a Center of Excellence for both placenta accreta and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). It highlights our expertise in the full spectrum of care for women who have had prior cesarean deliveries."

Women and Children's Services at Tampa General Hospital has a long tradition of providing patient-centered care from nurses, physicians and midwives with great expertise. The highly specialized Center of Excellence will provide the same quality of care to all families; from those with no birth complications to highly acute pregnancies. TGH is one of only three hospitals in the Tampa Bay area to have received international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® designated birth facility by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. for its commitment to supporting breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The hospital's Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and its close affiliation with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine means that mothers, babies and families always have world-class medical care.

The Maternal Safety Foundation offers the Maternal Centers of Excellence Accreta Center of Excellence and VBAC Center of Excellence as voluntary recognition programs with a goal of helping patients and families find safe, risk-appropriate care. The Foundation Advisory Board's decision to target accreta as an area of focus was data-driven. The number of women giving birth after a previous cesarean in the United States is 600,000 — or 15 percent — annually.

As a VBAC Center of Excellence, Tampa General Hospital is recognized for helping patients with a previous cesarean identify safe, risk-appropriate and supportive options for vaginal birth. Many women choose vaginal birth because it is a surgery-free option.

Placenta accreta is a serious complication of pregnancy that occurs when the placenta grows too deeply into the wall of the uterus. Although it used to be uncommon, the condition has increased an estimated 400 percent in the last four decades alongside the increase in cesarean section births. A woman's risk for developing this condition increases according to the number of previous cesarean births.

"For many women, a vaginal delivery is the safest way to give birth. Women should have a voice and be able to share in the decision-making at delivery and that's why we have worked so hard to make sure expectant mothers can make this health care choice at Tampa General," Dr. Louis said. Florida has historically had one of the highest rates annually of primary and repeat cesarean births, according to the Maternal Safety Foundation.

"In states like Florida, with high primary cesarean birth rates, it is imperative that hospitals and health systems take the lead in ensuring safe, high-quality care options for patients with a previous cesarean," said Jill Arnold, founder of the Maternal Safety Foundation. "We are happy to honor Tampa General Hospital for both its expertise in managing complicated placenta accreta births as well as safe, preference-sensitive care for patients with a previous cesarean who wish to be supported in giving birth vaginally."

Tags: Press Release

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