The Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care launched its Urgent Maternal Warning Signs earlier this week. It can also be found under the ‘Patient Safety Tools’ tab in the top menu bar. The Council announced the project’s launch on its Twitter and Facebook accounts earlier this week. You are encouraged you to share the Council’s posts.
What else can you do?
- Share far and wide with your colleagues, partners and community members – including your state perinatal quality collaborative and local sections of professional organizations.
- Communicate with your patients and families about these warning signs. Some clinicians are not comfortable bringing up the subject because they don’t want to frighten their patients. An example of words to use, “Sometimes women/moms are focused on the fetus/baby and don’t pay a lot of attention to themselves. These are some things I/we want you to pay attention to (explain). If you experience any of these, I/we WANT you to get in touch with us ASAP. Here is how you can reach us during the day/night. Or, you can always call the hospital at_____. Our team is here to care for you. Do you have any questions?”
- Reinforce this information before discharge from the birthing hospital/facility with AWHONN’s Post-Birth Warning Signs. This is a comprehensive program including on-line education for those responsible for discharging patients. You can always use the FREE handouts available in four languages. Also, make sure she knows to communicate she is a post-partum woman to health-care providers.
- Ensure these complaints are investigated appropriately when a woman presents with them or calls about them.
- Partner with other areas in your hospital/community that come into contact with pregnant/postpartum women (e.g. ED, NICU,WIC) so they are also aware of these signs and can investigate/refer/consult as needed.