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DENTON, Texas — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton has opened a special emergency room for pregnant women in the local community. The new obstetric emergency department, or OB ED, is located in The Center for Women at Texas Health Denton. It is staffed 24 hours a day by board-certified OB-GYN hospitalists, who are physicians that only see patients while they’re in the hospital.
Traditionally, women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant and present in the emergency room are sent to the labor and delivery unit for triage. From there, nurses evaluate the patient, but labor and delivery units are unlike emergency units; doctors are not always present, especially at night. This means that nurses have to coordinate emergency care with the on-call physicians, usually over the phone. When a patient is not in labor, it’s very common for them to be discharged without ever physically seeing a physician.
“The OB hospitalist model has really changed the way that we care for pregnant women,” said Dr. Vanessa Woolridge, an OB-GYN hospitalist on the medical staff at the hospital. “If they are having pregnancy complications, they want to be seen in a timely manner and by a physician knowledgeable about their condition."