Maternity Standard Processes of Care

On the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, Leapfrog examines two standard processes of maternity care that all hospitals should have in place to provide safe care to newborns and women having a baby. 

Appropriate DVT Prophylaxis

Pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the leg that breaks loose and travels to the lungs, is a leading cause of death in women undergoing a Cesarean section. To reduce the risk, current recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) call for the use of pneumatic compression devices (PCD). In most cases, these devices are a sleeve around the patient's legs that pump compressed air to encourage the movement of blood vessels. PCD use has been shown to reduce the incidence of blood clots in the lungs for patients undergoing major surgery by about 70%, and has demonstrated a two-thirds reduction in post-cesarean deaths.  In lieu of a PCD, women can also receive medical venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis, another strategy to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Newborn Bilirubin Screening

Hyperbilirubinemia refers to a high bilirubin level in a newborn. If not detected and treated, it can cause irreversible brain damage resulting in permanent visual, muscular or other disabilities and even death. Unfortunately visual inspection of the baby for jaundice frequently fails to identify the presence of the condition, particularly if the infant is discharged shortly after delivery. Hospitals should conduct simple serum or transcutaneous screenings before discharge to significantly improve the detection and treatment of hyperbilirubinemia. 


View Leapfrog Hospital Survey Results here.


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