The Lois Hole Hospital for Women is a centre of medical excellence with a special focus on high-risk pregnancy, labour, and delivery. High-risk pregnancy means there may be potential for early birth or a health risk to the baby. When the unthinkable happens and a woman experiences the loss of a baby, caregivers at the LHHW have learned that it is very difficult for women and their support persons to explain their situations multiple times on arrival to the hospital for care.
The solution they're offering is both strikingly simple and singularly significant.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For women who come to the Lois Hole Hospital for Women to receive care during pregnancy loss, the quiet image of a water droplet gently falling into a clear pool of water says everything it needs to on behalf of its holder. Simply handed to the clerk at the registration desk, or the caregiver upon her arrival, the card lets the caregiver know that this visit to the hospital is one of sadness and loss -- loss of the baby this woman is carrying.
It's a card, say caregivers, that provides quiet acknowledgement, understanding, and empathy, as opposed to the constant request for the retelling of a sad and sorrowful outcome, an unintended result of simply following the process required to register a patient. Now, when she is asked, "Why are you here today?" her answer is provided when she hands over the small card with the image of a gently falling water droplet.
"The cards are intended to provide patients and families with a tool to give to the team as they present themselves to the care units. They will inform healthcare providers that the patient is here to receive care related to the loss of a baby. It will prevent potentially awkward and insensitive situations and ensure that patients, who arrive here under very difficult circumstances, receive the highest level of compassion."
This card tells hospital staff exactly what the patient is in for, and allows her to find her way without having to repeatedly tell her story. This small card can make it a little bit easier for the patient and her partner/family on a very hard day.