Perinatology Service Physician Information

The brochure text is reproduced below.

A Center for High-Risk Obstetrics and Genetic Counseling

The Perinatology Service at Bronson Methodist Hospital has served as a referral center for southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana since 1984 for mothers with high-risk pregnancies and for those needing genetic counseling. We also provide pre-conceptual counseling to women at risk for complications.

The Michigan Department of Public Health has designated Bronson as a Level III perinatal center, the highest designation possible. Our service’s four full-time specialists have extensive perinatal expertise and experience. Since its inception, the service has served more than 9,000 mothers.

Supporting Referring Physicians

Our primary role is to support you in the care of your patient. All of our patients come to us through physician referral. We invite you to consult with us at any time, even if a referral may not be necessary.

Of the patients referred to us, the vast majority return to the care of the referring physician along with our findings and recommendations. On some occasions—especially when severe complications are involved—physicians choose to have us manage care completely all the way through delivery. When complications are less serious, physicians may wish to share the care with us.

In all cases, we consult with you to make decisions about care that will meet your needs and the needs of your patient.

Indications for Referral

Physicians often choose to refer patients to us for the following reasons:

  • pre-term labor or history of pre-term labor
  • premature rupture of membranes
  • pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • insulin-dependent or gestational diabetes
  • medical complications such a lupus, chronic hypertension and renal disease
  • blood group incompatibility
  • bleeding problems
  • multiple pregnancy
  • fetal health assessment
  • congenital abnormalities
  • pre-conceptual counseling because of poor obstetrical history, previous pregnancy loss, or chronic medical condition such as diabetes, renal disease, hypertension and others

If you are not sure whether the problem your patient faces is cause for referral, we encourage you to consult with us. Even if no referral is made, we may be able to give you some guidance concerning care.

Communication With Referring Physicians

We believe in frequent, timely and complete communication with the referring physician. Within 24 hours of the time we see your patient, we send a letter detailing our findings and recommendations. If there is anything particularly urgent or unusual, we also contact you by telephone. If a patient is hospitalized, you will, of course, be notified and you will receive a complete discharge summary.

We encourage you to call us at any time for information concerning your patient. Any member of the staff will be glad to help you with your inquiry.

Our Approach to Care

We can step in to help you with your patient at any time, from before conception until after delivery. We draw on our broad range of experience in evaluating your patient, and we have sophisticated testing methods available to us. Our physicians work as a team to formulate a plan of management. Because we believe in a team approach, we always seek to involve the referring physician in the management of his or her patient.

A Wide Range of Diagnostic and Treatment Methods

Consistent with our role as perinatal specialists, we offer a wide range of diagnostic and treatment methods. The studies and procedures we perform include the following:

  • ultrasound
  • amniocentesis
  • fetal anomalies studies
  • fetal echocardiography
  • cordocentesis
  • intrauterine fetal transfusions
  • intrauterine fetal shunts
  • fetal thoracentesis

Most of the patients referred to us require only testing and consultation. We develop management plans for more than 2,000 of these patients annually.

For those who require hospital care, our facilities at Bronson include an intensive care area devoted exclusively to high-risk obstetrical patients. More than 500 patients are admitted to this area each year.

In addition, we maintain links with other major perinatology centers throughout the United States to assure that our patients have access to those experimental or therapeutic procedures not currently offered at Bronson.

Neonatal Services

High-risk mothers often deliver infants needing special care. Bronson has the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in southwestern Michigan. We work closely with Bronson’s neonatal specialists whenever necessary to render complete maternal and fetal care.

These neonatal specialists offer many services including a follow-up clinic to ensure that graduates of intensive care develop normally. They also operate a SIDS/apnea clinic for children with disorders of respiratory control and a genetics clinic for families with known or suspected inheritable diseases. To obtain more information about neonatal care at Bronson, call the Neonatology Service at (616) 341-6469.

Acute Referrals

A physician from our service is available 24 hours a day. It is important that you talk with one of our physicians before a transfer is initiated. Please call us at (616) 341-7887 before referring a patient. After regular hours, you may call us at (616) 341-6433.

Acute patients come to us both by ground and by air transport. Our on-call physician will meet your patient when she arrives at Bronson.

We routinely utilize other Bronson subspecialists, who cover nearly every major discipline, to assist us in diagnosing and treating your patient.

Regular Referrals

To refer patients for regular consultations, please call our office at (616) 341-7887. We will arrange an appointment time when you call.

We have patient information brochures available and will be glad to provide you with a supply for your office. These brochures include a map and information about a visit to our department.

Educational Services

We in the Perinatology Service maintain a strong commitment to the education of all professionals who work with obstetrical patients. Our academic appointments give us the opportunity to train medical students, but we are also very active in continuing education programs throughout our region.

Our activities include chart reviews, seminars, and lectures on topics requested by area physicians. Linda Root, RN, is the Regional Perinatal Coordinator in charge of these activities. If you have a special request or want more information on upcoming lectures and seminars, please contact her at (616) 341-7887.