Baptist Health Saving Time and Lives With On-Site Laborist

{}New mom Kim Moore carried her baby girl for 42 weeks, way past full term, and three times, doctors tried to induce labor but couldn't. On her third trip to the hospital, something was wrong. The baby was showing signs of distress.

"Before{}I knew it{}I had an oxygen mask on, and about ten nurses in the room, and then all of a sudden doctors showed up. Then it got pretty fast and they wheeled us into surgery," said Moore.

{}But that surgery would not be performed by Kim's doctor. It was started instead by Dr. Jim Studdard, an on-site obstetrician called a laborist, who specializes in labor and delivery and is already at the hospital, monitoring baby heart rates.

"I{}saw something suspicious so{}I walked into the room to see what was going on. Her doctor's office is next door which takes him about three to five minutes to get here. In that period of time we were able to act on an abnormal heart rate tracing, and get the baby delivered before he could even get here," said Dr. Studdard.

{}Baby Alexandra had low fluid volume in the uterus and the umbilical cord was being compressed when Kim had a contraction, but because of the timely action of an on-site physician, Alexandra was born healthy.

"It doesn't happen often, but I've been here three months and{}I think I've probably seen three cases where mom or baby were at risk if hadn't done something very, very quickly," explained Dr. Studdard.

Kim's regular physican{}agrees. Kim says, "He was probably five or ten minutes behind and he's of the opinion that if we had to wait for him, she might not have made it. That it was that close. Saved her life really."

Hospitals often have physicians on call who are sometimes at the hospital, but Baptist is the first in the state to invest in a full-time laborist.