by Erin Freeman
Swedish is closing its Edmonds Family Birth Center and level two Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as the hospital prepares to treat an abundance of patients enduring severe coronavirus illness.
The temporary closure will take effect on March 26, affecting those in the Lynnwood area expecting to deliver a child in the following weeks. Patients who are scheduled to give birth at Swedish Hospital will be redirected to the Providence Pavilion for Women and Children in Everett.
The directive came from System Executive Director of Women’s Health & Pediatrics Melissa McHugh and Executive Medical Director of Women’s Health Dr. Tanya Sorensen.
“We know this is a stressful time for everyone, but we are committed to ensuring the safety of our patients, caregivers, and community,” they stated.
McHugh and Sorensen recommend that expecting mothers discuss immediate concerns with their Swedish provider but ensure patients will be contacted to discuss their individual care needs. They will also be given further directions about where to go and what to expect when arriving at the Providence Pavilion.
“We assure you that you will receive the same high-quality care during your birth,” they added, acknowledging the anticipated concern.
Swedish providers are also in the process of receiving privileges to work in maternity service departments at Providence Hospital, to continue to support the deliveries of their existing patients.
“As our region prepares for an anticipated surge in COVID-positive patients, Swedish and other hospitals in our region are working together to identify areas where services can be safely and efficiently consolidated,” McHugh and Sorensen explained.
The closures of the family birth center and NICU follow the hospital’s temporary hold on non-life threatening and non-urgent care surgeries. The decision to postpone these elective surgeries as of March 13 was immediately related to efforts to adequately react to COVID-19 care and prevention.
“With COVID-19 circulating in our community, Swedish is taking steps to ensure the safety of our patients and our facilities in order to care for as many COVID-19 patients as possible,” Swedish announced.