In order to support the Comité Sauvons le Centre mère-enfant, two nurses decided to give a testimony of some consequences that the closure of childbirth and pediatrics services at the Suroît Hospital could have.
“I am writing to you, people of the greater Montérégie Ouest region. To you future parents, future grandparents, uncles, aunts and those who may be affected by the arrival of a newborn baby. I would like to make you aware of the future closure of the Centre mère-enfant (maternity) at Valleyfield hospital, which will be transferred to the future Vaudreuil hospital. Which, in my opinion, would be disastrous for our population. I have been a nurse at the Centre mère-enfant for several years and I will have plenty of stories to tell you, but I will put you in context with this one.
The birth of little Léa
Little Léa was born at 29 weeks. They said she was very premature. Léa was born at home because mom’s labor happened very quickly. The ambulance arrived just in time to welcome Lea on mom’s bed. But a very premature baby does not always breathe on its own and this is the case with Lea, who was in great distress after her birth. So they were both rushed to the nearest birthing center, the Valleyfield Hospital. There was a fairly significant delay before arriving at the hospital since Léa lived in the Haut Saint-Laurent area.
When she arrived, at the Valleyfield hospital, the code pink which means baby to be resuscitated was launched across the hospital and the maternity team quickly rushed to the emergency room to help out the emergency team. Indeed, the maternity team is specially trained in neonatal resuscitation since each nurse who works there is part of the AMPRO1 team. Basically AMPRO is continuing education in obstetrics that makes nurses very autonomous to handle all kinds of emergencies.
When she arrived at Valleyfield Hospital, Lea’s condition was unstable; bluish coloration, no tone, labored and more or less spontaneous breathing. Luckily, the care of Léa by our team saved her life. Intubation, umbilical venous access, ventilation then transfer to a specialized center in Montreal. The medical team of Ste-Justine was clear, it would not have taken much longer to leave serious permanent damage to Léa, even death. So what will happen to mothers and babies who will experience rapid deliveries and who will have to pass in front of the Ormstown hospital, wait at the Larocque bridge which may be raised, then in front of the Suroît hospital, then pass the Vaudreuil pay bridge to finally arrive at the Vaudreuil hospital. While we already have a birthing unit in Valleyfield which serves the population. In addition, this unit has been recently renovated, in its entirety and is at the cutting edge of technology.
In addition, our region has a high rate of disadvantaged families. Families for whom the monitoring of pregnancy is already difficult because of the limitation for transport. So it is clear to me that many patients will not be able to obtain adequate follow-up because they will not be able to travel to Vaudreuil. This will make them even more vulnerable to pregnancy complications if they do not have adequate follow-up such as delayed growth in the fetus, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa and so on…
In the Montérégie-Ouest region, it is already in the Valleyfield region that we find the highest proportion of premature newborns under 37 weeks and the highest proportion of low-weight babies for gestational age. Will it increase?
Especially since there will no longer be a gynecologist nearby to serve women as of December 2020.
In short, whether it is for a question of patient safety or pregnancy monitoring, it is illogical and even dangerous to close the Centre mère-enfant. I have nothing against the idea of having a birthing unit in Vaudreuil, but why withdraw a service that is already well established in our region which, in addition, already has a very competent team.
I hope voices will be raised to support the continuation of delivery services at the Valleyfield Hospital. Because at the end of the day it’s your safety and the safety of the people you love that will be at stake.
Do not wait for irreparable tragedies to happen before reacting!
Go sign the petition on the National Assembly of Quebec website. You can find the link on the Facebook site, let’s save the Centre mère-enfant in Valleyfield or on the CDC Beauharnois-Salaberry website”.
A second powerful testimony
Let me introduce myself, my name is Stéphanie Poirier. I have been a nurse for 16 years and have worked in the department of pediatrics of Suroît in the old structure and that of today. I have now changed jobs and that is why I would like to talk to you today about pediatrics at Suroît Hospital.
In recent years, a strategy to reduce the quality of services has been implemented. In 2009, the beautiful environment to which children were previously entitled was moved to the general medicine wing in the old hospital. On Thursday morning the nurses heard the news of the move and on Friday the pediatric ward was moved. This move resulted in the departure of staff and years of rehabilitation and training of a new team to meet the needs of the children. This was done through the tears of the staff and to the detriment of their sanity and the beautiful service we had for our little ones from 0 to
12 years old.
We now find ourselves in 2020 with more decisions coming from the CISSMO glass castle which now wishes to put the nail on the coffin of pediatric services in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. If these services leave, all of our expertise will leave! For operations, for example, there will no longer be a stay of a few days to accommodate families from Beauharnois-Salaberry and Haut-Saint-Laurent. Pediatrics will no longer be able to accommodate emergency cases at l’hôpital Barry Mémorial.
Currently at Suroît Hospital we offer pediatric assessment and follow-up services for physical health problems, orthopedics, surgery, respiratory problems, infectious problems, trauma, etc. A panoply of care which is necessary for the great needs of our children 0 to 12 years old.
We the people in the field like nurses and others who work in the health care system know very well, we live in an area where poverty brings its share of health problems and hardships for families. I can tell you from experience that the greater the distance, the less visitation they have from their parents. We see that recovery is better when the parents are present. Parents also help us a lot in the care of the children. This greatly improves the comfort of the children.
Why is it towards Vaudreuil-Soulanges in this case that we want to provide all the services? What will happen, for example, to Louis and his parents who will have to receive antibiotics at 8 am for 8 weeks? They will have to travel from Franklin to Vaudreuil 4 times every 24 hours for his infection?
I ask MPs Claire Isabelle and Claude Reid to take action to ensure that we keep our pediatric services. I ask the entire population to sign the petition to put pressure on our elected officials and public servants without discernment.
Stéphanie Poirier and Carole Laperrière