Falmouth Hospital Main Entrance

Plans are in place to move the maternity department and pediatric unit at Falmouth Hospital to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

Due to a consistent 10-year decline in births on Cape Cod, the Falmouth Hospital maternity department, along with the pediatric unit, will be relocated to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis permanently, Michael K. Lauf, Cape Cod Healthcare’s president and chief executive officer, said in a call with media on Tuesday, March 31.

While obstetric and inpatient pediatric services will be suspended at Falmouth Hospital as of Monday, April 6, the move is pending regulatory review, Mr. Lauf said.

This change might lead to layoffs of medical staff at Falmouth Hospital, Mr. Lauf said, noting the consolidation of maternity and pediatric units at larger hospitals is a nationwide trend.

Last year only 328 babies were born at Falmouth Hospital, less than one per day. This represents a 39 percent decrease since 2009, which is consistent with regional and state trends, Mr. Lauf said.

Births at Cape Cod Hospital declined 11 percent to 752 at Cape Cod Hospital last year and across Barnstable County by 12 percent to 1,515. Total births in Massachusetts declined by 8 percent to 66,570 over the same period, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The average patient census in the maternity department is less than three per day, Mr. Lauf said.

Following similar trends, the pediatric unit at Falmouth Hospital has shown a seven-year decrease of 35 percent in average census to less than one patient per day, at 97 discharges annually.

“Cape Cod Hospital has the capacity to absorb these cases,” Mr. Lauf said.

In addition to the decreasing number of births, the organization decided to consolidate maternity and pediatric services after a shortage of pediatricians at Falmouth Hospital in July, Mr. Lauf said.

Also, the two units’ beds are expected to be needed as medical-surgical or intensive care unit beds in the case of a surge in adult COVID-19 patients at Falmouth Hospital.

“Next week we will transition the [maternity and pediatric] beds to medical-surgical beds equipped for COVID-19 patients,” Mr. Lauf said.

Falmouth Hospital opened a new floor Tuesday with 26 additional beds for COVID-19 patients. The hospital previously had 10 ICU beds, with the capacity for adding nine more, Mr. Lauf said.

Obstetrical, gynecological and pediatric practices on the Upper Cape will remain open for in-office visits and prenatal care.

“We simply will not be delivering babies in Falmouth Hospital,” Mr. Lauf said.

(1) comment

Lulu3544

Thanks to Falmouth Maternity Ward because the 22 years ago they save my daughter's life with an emergency C-section and 2 years ago almost June 4th 2018 my granddaughter Mila Josephine Blake-Fornal I was born at 28 weeks and 2 days from Doctor David he was amazing all of the nurses were also amazing ironically there was a conference for the Neo natal from Tufts Medical Center there with about 12 doctors my grandbaby was born with a collapsed lung and also not breathing wonderful dr. Parkinson my daughter is also pediatrician is the one who resuscitated her and put her prick in her heart she weighed 1 pounds 13 and 1/2 oz 13 in Long right from then was shipped to Tufts in Boston, thank you to all of you nurses because of today she is almost two years old not one medical problem at all you will very much be missed I am shedding a tear a little bit while I am writing this take care and thank you for all of your lives you brought into the world

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