‘Babies come when they’re ready, regardless of COVID-19 restrictions’

Jose Mendez was allowed to witness the birth of his daughter

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Jose Mendez was present during his daughter's birth.
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Jose Mendez was present during his daughter's birth.
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While the COVID-19 pandemic demanded the focus of hospitals across Hudson County, other essential care has continued at these facilities throughout the crisis. Hudson Regional Hospital (HRH) in Secaucus maintained other essential services and treated patients in need of non-COVID-19 medical attention while following strict safety protocols.

According to HRH, this includes keeping its other practice areas completely separated from the COVID-19 unit, ensuring no staff crossover. The hospital also keeps independent emergency rooms for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.

The maternity ward was one of the areas kept separate from the virus wing.

Born amid a pandemic

The Mendez family may not have imagined the birth of their daughter in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the restrictions, Mendez accompanied his wife to the maternity ward.

Jose Mendez shared news of his daughter’s birth on the hospital’s virtual briefing on April 13, grateful for the safety protocols that allowed him to be present for the birth of his child.

Mendez said he was very happy that he was allowed to accompany his wife to the maternity ward and also impressed by the safety precautions in place to ensure that parents and babies remained removed from COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, President and CEO of HRH, explained how residents in need of emergency care should not fear seeking medical attention due to the virus.

“Babies come when they’re ready regardless of COVID-19 restrictions,” Kifaieh said. “Our labor and delivery intake process is well-organized and our staff is well-equipped to handle patients and provide a safe environment for the mother and baby. Similarly, anyone with concerning medical conditions or symptoms for stroke, uncontrolled diabetes. or other potentially life-threatening conditions should not wait at home and let their condition deteriorate over time.”

Patients with any of the aforementioned symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, according to Kifaieh, regardless of any fears of COVID-19.

“I am aware of many situations where patients elected to remain home fearing COVID exposure and ended up with a worsening condition,” Kifaieh said. “Our ER has separate treatment areas for non-COVID related conditions.”

The facility is returning to normal operations, preparing for the resumption of other practices. However, the hospital is still prepared for new virus patients. The COVID-19 treatment area is still quarantined and staff are tested daily.

And while the hospital is ready for a second wave of the number of individuals needing COVID-19 testing, patients admitted, patients needing intubation, and patient deaths from the virus have all significantly decreased.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.