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Safer Sleep for Newborns with Sleep Sacks

In almost every newborn baby picture taken in a hospital, the baby is wrapped in a familiar white flannel blanket with a blue-and-pink stripe.

You won’t find babies swaddled in those blankets at Lexington Medical Center. Through the support of the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, the hospital has switched its standard blankets for HALO® SleepSacks to promote safer sleep for infants.

sleep-sackInfant sleep sacks, with fabric flaps that close securely and swaddle a baby’s arms to the body, are meant to make swaddling safer and easier. They help babies feel more secure and allow them to move their legs freely without the danger of loose fabric around their heads.

The change to sleep sacks at Lexington Medical Center is intended to help reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

“SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age, with most deaths occurring between the ages of 1 and 4 months, said Lauren Matthews, MD, a pediatrician at Lexington Pediatric Practice, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “Approximately 2,500 infants die each year in the United States from SIDS. As the name implies, it is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant less than 1 year of age,” she said.

Lauren Matthews, MD

Lauren Matthews, MD

After the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) first recommended that babies be placed on their backs for the safest sleeping, SIDS rates declined dramatically – by more than 50 percent. In 2011, the AAP expanded its recommendation to include specific descriptions of an ideal sleep environment.

According to Dr. Matthews, infants should be put to sleep on a firm mattress without extra blankets, pillows or stuffed animals. Sleep sacks allow for warmth, swaddling and containment without the need for extra bedding in the crib.

“We know that parents are influenced not only by what they are told, but what they observe from caregivers in the hospital. Using sleep sacks in the hospital allows nurses and other medical professionals the opportunity to educate caregivers on the importance of safe sleep and model a safe-sleep environment. Education to reduce modifiable risk factors for SIDS is the most effective intervention currently available,” said Dr. Matthews.

Through the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, the hospital is able to provide free HALO SleepSacks for parents to take home, as well as provide them for hospital use.

In addition to using sleep sacks and placing infants on their backs for sleep, the AAP recommends parents avoid loose bedding, bumper pads and soft toys in cribs, which are linked to sudden unexpected infant death syndrome, or SUIDS. The organization also warns parents not to share a bed with their infants, especially at ages younger than 3 months, and not to use “co-sleeping” cribs, which have one open side pushed against the parent’s bed. Instead, parents should share a room — which studies have shown can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.

Irmo Outpatient Surgery Earns Prestigious Awards for Patient Care

Lexington Medical Center Irmo’s Ambulatory Surgery department is one of the highest rated health care facilities in the nation for patient experience, according to Press Ganey, a national organization that tracks and ranks the delivery of health care across the country through patient surveys. With its high ratings, Lexington Medical Center Irmo Ambulatory Surgery has earned the prestigious 2016 Guardian of Excellence Award and Pinnacle of Excellence Award for patient experience from Press Ganey for its outstanding care.
 
lmc_irmo_ambsurg_award_01The Guardian of Excellence Award is for health care organizations that reach the 95th percentile for overall patient experience for each quarter of the year.
 
The Pinnacle of Excellence Award goes to the top three performing organizations in the nation for overall patient experience in at least the 95th percentile for three years running.

“The employees at Lexington Medical Center Irmo are always striving to provide the most extraordinary care to our patients,” said Susan Horton, director of Guest Services. “They are honored each year for their accomplishments.”
 
lmc_irmo_ambsurg_award_02For more than 30 years, Press Ganey has partnered with more than 10,000 health care facilities across the nation to measure and improve patient experience. Press Ganey uses patient surveys to assess the quality of services at hospitals across the United States.
 
Lexington Medical Center Irmo is an outpatient hospital has been serving the people of the Irmo community for approximately 30 years. Its Ambulatory Surgery department performs more than 150 surgeries there each month.
 

Lexington Medical Center Earns Consumer Choice Award

For an impressive fifteenth year in a row, Lexington Medical Center has received the prestigious Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. This award honors hospitals across the nation that health care consumers have chosen for having the highest quality and image in their community.

consumer-choice-awardEach year, the National Research Corporation honors these hospitals after conducting a custom research survey of more than 250,000 households in 300 cities. From the households surveyed, 3,200 hospitals named by consumers are analyzed and ranked based on their specific areas of care.

The Consumer Choice Award indicates that Lexington Medical Center has achieved a level of service that is valued by the people of the Midlands and it provides patients with valuable information to use when selecting health care providers.

kat“Lexington Medical Center’s doctors, nurses and staff members work diligently each day to provide the most outstanding, compassionate care to our patients,” said Tod Augsburger, Lexington Medical Center President & CEO. “We strive to exceed expectations and treat our patients like members of our own family. It’s nice to be recognized by our community members for our efforts.”

The National Research Corporation has more than two decades of experience in health care performance measurement and improvement.

Thank you to the Midlands for this honor!