The D.C. Health Department shut down the obstetrics ward at United Medical Center last week because of critical errors staff at the Southeast hospital made in its care of pregnant women and newborns, according to The Washington Post.
An Aug. 7 letter from D.C. Health Department Director LaQuandra Nesbitt to UMC CEO Luis Hernandez obtained by the Post details several incidents where staff did not take the necessary steps in care, including a case where staff did not follow procedures to prevent the transmission of HIV from an infected mother to a newborn.
The health department ordered a 90-day closure of the ward and nursery last week without offering a clear picture of the circumstances that led to the decision. In a statement last week, UMC said the suspension was the result of “three separate cases involving deficiencies in screening, clinical assessment and delivery protocols.” The suspension could be lifted if the hospital ward makes improvements and passes inspection.
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