Photos/Videos: New Maternity Operating Rooms

February 5, 2015

[Updated with videos] The Maternity Unit of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital now has two operating rooms ready for use, marking the first time operating rooms have been available within the unit.

In the past, mothers requiring emergency C- sections were taken to operating rooms that are one level above the Maternity Unit’s delivery rooms. Maternity Unit staff today [Feb 5] performed a run through of a Caesarean-section which we captured footage of.


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Dr Dale Wilmot, BHB Chief of Obstetrics explained that, “One room will function solely as a state-of-the-art operating room [OR] for both planned and emergency Caesarean-sections, with the second room retained for routine deliveries but fully equipped as a back-up OR.

“Both rooms are located next to the birthing rooms, making it easier for women who require emergency interventions.

“Having the OR close to the nursery also allows mothers to bond with their babies for longer periods than was possible when the OR was on a different level. And studies show that mother baby bonding may help prevent diseases, boost immunity and enhance IQ of the baby.”

Full statement by Dr Dale Wilmot, BHB Chief of Obstetrics follows below:

“Two modern operating rooms are now ready for use in the Maternity Unit of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The completion of the rooms marks the first time operating rooms have been available within the unit.

“One room will function solely as a state-of-the-art OR for both planned and emergency Caesarean-sections, with the second room retained for routine deliveries but fully equipped as a back-up OR. Both rooms are located next to the birthing rooms, making it easier for women who require emergency interventions.

“In the past, mothers requiring emergency C- sections were taken to operating rooms that are one level above the Maternity Unit’s delivery rooms.

“Having the ORs within the Maternity Unit increases the safety not only of mothers but also their babies when surgical interventions are required. The close proximity to the Special Care Baby Unit within the Maternity Unit means that, if necessary, specialist resources are immediately available for newborns.

“Having the OR close to the nursery also allows mothers to bond with their babies for longer periods than was possible when the OR was on a different level. And studies show that mother baby bonding may help prevent diseases, boost immunity and enhance IQ of the baby.

“The rooms were designed in 2008 to international standards incorporating best practices for maternity units. When the new ORs opened in the Acute Care Wing [ACW], all but one in the General Wing closed. One was remained solely to accommodate maternity cases including emergencies.

“Because of the shift to the ACW, the need for close back-up facilities became evident, and the design was revised to incorporate a second room capable of carrying out C-sections in an emergency. In addition to its use in emergency cases, the new Maternity ORs also allow more effective scheduling of planned C-sections.

“Somers Construction won the contract and began building last year. Other Bermuda firms involved in the project as sub-contractors included BESCO, Bermuda Air Conditioning and Universal Electric Ltd – now Bermuda Universal Electric.

“Locating ORs in the Maternity Unit is an example of the Bermuda Hospitals Board’s commitment to provide safe quality care to the community.

“This project was a collaborative effort involving expertise from our engineering, procurement and clinical teams.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. D says:

    Really nice wish that was around when I had my kid

  2. Bermuda.Reader says:

    Congratulations on the new and improved surgical sites. That’s good news for mothers who require an operation for safe delivery.

    However, I see no mention of a birthing tub, or birthing stool, for those mothers who prefer a more “natural” birth experience.

    • RME says:

      Would they really come to the hospital if they wanted a more “natural” birth experience?

      • Bermuda.Reader says:

        No. But the Powers That Be most actively and vociferously campaign against home births! They throw up roadblocks and cite “Regulations” to get mothers into their sterile (often uncomfortable and hostile) environment.

        A reasonable compromise – putting a birthing tub into the KEMH room(s)- was shot down, on the grounds that “the floors would not be able to support the weight.”

      • Yes! says:

        Yes they definitely would! Giving birth naturally does not mean that you want to be far away from medical intervention should it be needed, especially for first time moms.

      • Leaper says:

        Yes. I wanted a natural experience within the safety of the hospital in the event of the need for an emerg C-section. nto everyone resides within the extremes.

    • DJ1969 says:

      One step at a time!!

    • Realist says:

      It’s an operating room… you know for C-sections and birthing emergencies etc. This is in addition to the regular maternity rooms. Why do people always find the need to criticize. SMH

  3. Home Birth says:

    The WHO ( World Health Organization) states that NO hospital, INCLUDING KEMH, should be doing more than 15 percent of births via major abdominal surgery because higher rates are not linked to ANY benefit to mother or child.
    Each c-section that occurs at KEMH should have an AGE, complication and a reason why someone would simply choose to have a c-section attached to it. This information should be published and then we would all hopefully become aware of the pressure we need to put on KEMH to reduce their c-section rate and not make them easier to slide into or to obtain for no medical reason.

    Research shows that a c-section can have negative consequences for both mother and baby. There is a growing body of evidence that children born by major abdominal surgery are more at risk for asthma, Type 1 diabetes and obesity.
    Let’s face it, c-sections keep a lot of people in business here.
    Vaginal births take a lot of time, effort, and patience yet they cost less than a c-section.
    C-sections take a lot less time and effort and cost more than a vaginal birth.

    There will always be women who choose to birth alone, to birth with a midwife in the comfort and safety of their own home and for less money than a hospital birth.

    Operating Rooms are necessary, no question. Let’s see if Bermuda’s c-section rate rockets higher or is decreased to where the WHO suggests.

    KEMH would have been wiser to upgrade the maternity ward with birth tubs, a full on Midwifery led unit, private birth suites for fathers to stay overnight to enhance bonding and a hospital based and funded FREE DOULA Program for all women.

    Maybe the next renovation?

  4. Judge & Jury says:

    Congratulations on the much needed improvements. The experience of switching floors was horrid during my emergency C.

    Now it would be great if more family members were allowed in the birthing room.

  5. Young Observer says:

    What happen to a premature birthing operating room with neonatal intensive care in the renovation? I have heard of quite a few premature birthings or high risk pregnancy women having to be Air Ambulanced out of the island for care due to KEMH not have the equipment/personnel to treat patients.

  6. bermudaglobetrotters says:

    Step into the current century Bermuda, and create a Birthing Centre.

    If the powers that be – including the CMO – were genuinely concerned for the health of mother and baby (and not simply the health of their fiscal earnings) there would be a middle ground between Home and Hospital Birth.

    All flash, no substance.

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