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The physicians at Haugen OBGYN want to keep you updated on the latest topics, research, and discussions that are occurring in the field of OB/GYN. While this information is introductory, your doctor can provide you with further guidance or other internet resources if needed.

COVID-19: Patient Safety Message

At Haugen OB/GYN the health and safety of our patients and staff is always our number one priority. With this in mind, we are continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak.  In addition to staying in constant contact with the Minnesota Department of Health, we are staying up-to-date with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

In an effort to keep everyone safe, we are asking patients experiencing flu-like symptoms to call and reschedule their appointments. If you have traveled outside the country or on a cruise in the past 14 days, we request that you call and reschedule for a later time. 

We will continue taking extra precautions to provide the safest environment possible for our patients and staff.  For any questions about your appointment or your care, please call our clinic.

Call Center: 952-927-6561

At this time, very little is known about COVID-19, particularly related to its effect on pregnant women and infants, and there currently are no recommendations specific to pregnant women regarding the evaluation or management of COVID-19.

The steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 are generally the same as those for the flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

For information on prevention, symptoms and what to do if you’re feeling sick, please call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put out the following FAQ for pregnant women, those with infants, breastfeeding mothers.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy

Pregnant women

Q: Are pregnant women more susceptible to infection, or at increased risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality with COVID-19, compared with the general public?

A: We do not have information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Pregnant women also might be at risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared to the general population as observed in cases of other related coronavirus infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)] and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.

Q: Are pregnant women with COVID-19 at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes?

A: We do not have information on adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19. Pregnancy loss, including miscarriage and stillbirth, has been observed in cases of infection with other related coronaviruses [SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV] during pregnancy. High fevers during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects.

Q: Are pregnant healthcare personnel at increased risk for adverse outcomes if they care for patients with COVID-19?

A: Pregnant healthcare personnel (HCP) should follow risk assessment and infection control guidelines for HCP exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings. Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited; facilities may want to consider limiting exposure of pregnant HCP to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, especially during higher risk procedures (e.g., aerosol-generating procedures) if feasible based on staffing availability.

Transmission during pregnancy or during delivery

Q: Can pregnant women with COVID-19 pass the virus to their fetus or newborn (i.e. vertical transmission)?

A: The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly by close contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets. Whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or neonate by other routes of vertical transmission (before, during, or after delivery) is still unknown. However, in limited recent case series of infants born to mothers with COVID-19 published in the peer-reviewed literature, none of the infants have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, virus was not detected in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

Limited information is available about vertical transmission for other coronaviruses (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV) but vertical transmission has not been reported for these infections.

Infants

Q: Are infants born to mothers with COVID-19 during pregnancy at increased risk for adverse outcomes?

A: Based on limited case reports, adverse infant outcomes (e.g., preterm birth) have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection, and at this time the risk of adverse infant outcomes is not known. Given the limited data available related to COVID-19 during pregnancy, knowledge of adverse outcomes from other respiratory viral infections may provide some information. For example, other respiratory viral infections during pregnancy, such as influenza, have been associated with adverse neonatal outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm birth. Additionally, having a cold or influenza with high fever early in pregnancy may increase the risk of certain birth defects. Infants have been born preterm and/or small for gestational age to mothers with other coronavirus infections, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, during pregnancy.

Q: Is there a risk that COVID-19 in a pregnant woman or neonate could have long-term effects on infant health and development that may require clinical support beyond infancy?

A: At this time, there is no information on long-term health effects on infants either with COVID-19, or those exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 in utero. In general, prematurity and low birth weight are associated with adverse long-term health effects.

Transmission through breast milk

Q: Is maternal illness with COVID-19 during lactation associated with potential risk to a breastfeeding infant?

A: Human-to-human transmission by close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 has been reported and is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when a person with infection coughs or sneezes.

In limited case series reported to date, no evidence of virus has been found in the breast milk of women with COVID-19. No information is available on the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through breast milk (i.e., whether infectious virus is present in the breast milk of an infected woman).

In limited reports of lactating women infected with SARS-CoV, virus has not been detected in breast milk; however, antibodies against SARS-CoV were detected in at least one sample.

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)Division of Viral Diseases

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) – Is it Right For You?

Doctors used to believe in the phrase “once a cesarean always a cesarean.” Today, we know that many women who have had a cesarean section can later give birth “naturally,” or through the vagina. This is called a “VBAC,” or vaginal birth after cesarean. This can be a safe option for many women. It is not the right choice for all women because there are both maternal and neonatal risks. You and your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits of VBAC, as well as your chances of a successful VBAC.

Among the benefits of VBAC are the avoidance of major abdominal surgery, shorter hospital stays, a quicker recovery, less blood loss, lower rates of infection, and a decreased risk of complications in future pregnancies. Some of the risks of VBAC include failed trial of labor with subsequent cesarean, emergent surgery, increased rates of infection and transfusion, and the risk of uterine rupture. Uterine rupture, or dehiscence, at the site of a previous uterine scar can lead to both significant maternal and neonatal morbidity. This risk is rare (<1%) but is very serious and may be harmful , even catastrophic, to you and your baby. If you choose to attempt VBAC, you and your baby will be monitored very closely in labor.

Of women who try VBAC, about 60-80% will give birth vaginally. Success rates depend on multiple factors. Some of these factors include the reason for the prior cesarean section, history of a prior vaginal delivery, spontaneous labor versus induced labor, increased maternal age, and maternal obesity to list a few. Your obstetrician can discuss your personal history and risk factors so that you feel like you are making an informed choice.

At John Haugen Associates, we are supportive of VBAC under the right circumstances. We will always keep the health of you and your baby our first priority.

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Schmitz-Burns!

Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Schmitz-Burns! Every year Minnesota Monthly showcases top-rated Minnesota doctors and she is on the list! Dr. Schmitz-Burns has been with our practice since 2005.

Local Independent Physician Practices Join Forces, Launch Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health)

We believe independence matters. Since day one, we’ve been focused on remaining independent and preserving the ability for patients to make their own healthcare choices and decisions. Now, more than ever, it’s our duty to maintain that focus into the future.

On January 1st, 2020, we will join Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health), an independent physician practice with operating divisions of family medicine, orthopedics, and women’s health.

Our entire OBGYN Associates (OGA) family, which includes OBGYN Specialists, Associates in Women’s Health, OBGYN & Infertility, Diamond Women’s Center, and Haugen OB/GYN will join fellow independent practices Burnsville Family Physicians (BFP), Catalyst Medical Clinic (CMC), and Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) as partners in the creation of the new practice.

i-Health is a modern approach to a timeless idea. Healthcare is personal, and the needs of patients should always come first. We believe independent physicians working together to impact change represents the future of our industry, and we’re excited for the road ahead.

“It makes strategic sense – on a variety of levels – for us to align with i-Health, considering their emphasis on patient choice,” said OGA physician Krista Olsen, MD. “We’re in a competitive industry, and it’s our duty to always keep patients at the forefront. By joining like-minded practices who value independence and innovation, we’re making healthcare better for everyone.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGPdoEDqGn8&feature=youtu.be

What is i-Health?
The creation of i-Health provides a framework for growth and sustainability of independent physician practices that focus on patient choice and share core principles of physician autonomy, quality, value-based care and innovation. The goal of the organization is to enable physician practices to remain independent.

“We believe independence in healthcare enables physicians to focus on each patient’s individual goals without limitations, and that’s the inspiration behind i-Health,” said TCO physician Owen O’Neill, MD. “By empowering patient choice – arming patients with the tools to make their own educated healthcare decisions – we are earning their trust, and keeping healthcare personal.”

i-Health is founded on the belief that independent physicians are at the core of changing healthcare, and are the drivers of the industry’s improvement. Physician autonomy, and that of their independent practices, allows patients greater control and choice in the management of their own healthcare options. With a value-based care model emphasizing a patient’s experience, cost and quality of outcomes, i-Health aims to evolve the delivery model of healthcare.

The future of i-Health
i-Health is continuing discussions with other like-minded, reputable independent practices in the Twin Cities market that align with its core principles.

“At i-Health, we will continue to evolve how we approach our healthcare model in order to best serve our patients,” said i-Health board member David Holte, MD. “Whether that’s expanding available specialties, or impacting the ongoing innovation of the healthcare industry, i-Health will always strive to be an industry-leading partner to physicians and patients.”

This change and continued growth will not affect i-Health’s, or any of its operating divisions’, relationships with hospitals. There will be no modification to the brands and structures of each of i-Health’s operating divisions.

To learn more or get in touch, visit i-Health.com.

As of 1/1/19 Haugen OB/GYN is now a division of Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates, P.A.

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