Grey Nuns sees increase in baby deliveries after Misericordia outbreak
Twenty-seven babies were born at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, setting an Edmonton record. (Facebook/Covenant Health)
EDMONTON -- The Grey Nuns Community Hospital delivered more babies than usual Tuesday as the Misericordia Community Hospital continues to be on full facility outbreak.
Initially the Grey Nuns Community Hospital said in a now-deleted Facebook post that Tuesday's 27 deliveries was an Edmonton all-time record, but it only turned out to be the hospital's record for this year so far.
Sheri McKenzie, the program manager for Women's Health at the hospital, said they deliver 20-25 babies on average every day.
In comparison, the Royal Alexandra Hospital told CTV News it also delivers 20 babies daily on average. Their all-time record came on July 8 when 32 babies were born at the hospital.
The Grey Nuns delivered 30 babies once, McKenzie said, during the 2016 Fort McMurray fires.
McKenzie confirmed to CTV News the Grey Nuns Community Hospital has seen an increase this July after the Misericordia Community Hospital began to experience a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected several patients and staff.
Both hospitals are operated by Covenant Health and Misericordia staff have been redeployed to the Grey Nuns.
"It's really rewarding to see how the staff from the Mis, the staff and the physicians from the Misericordia, and the staff and physicians from the Grey Nuns have really worked together to collaboratively ensure we have all these patients delivered safely," McKenzie said.
She added that July is usually a busy month, which in part could be attributed to the hot weather which Edmonton is currently experiencing.
"There's documented studies stating that an increase in the temperature outside does precipitate women going into labour," McKenzie explained. "Pregnancy itself is physically challenging and then to add that extra heat, the stressor of the heat can sometimes precipitate women going into labour, yes."
It's unclear when the Misericordia will return to near-normal operations. The hospital has not reported a patient case since July 13 or a staff case since July 17.
Ten people have died in connection to the outbreak.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nicole Weisberg