Fetal Care Center Dallas remains committed to providing patients with the highest quality healthcare in this time of uncertainty. As always, patient safety and the well-being of mothers, cardiac and pediatric surgery kids and unborn children remain our highest priorities.
As part of our commitment to keep patients and staff safe, and in cooperation with hospital and government mandates, please note that our visitor guidelines have changed.
- Support people are no longer able to accompany patients to their appointments unless the patient is a child or minor under the age of 18.
- Only one parent can attend visits for pediatric patients.
All clinical decisions on follow-up appointments will be made on a patient-by-patient basis. Please stay in touch with us and be assured that our physicians want to hear from patients with questions and concerns. Together, we will make it through this challenging time.
Should I keep my appointments as scheduled?
Fetal Care Center Dallas is continuing to see patients, although you may be able to have a telehealth visit, depending on what you need. If you’re not sure, you can call us to discuss the type of visit you need. You may also hear from us regarding changes in appointments.
How do I know I’m safe during my visit?
To ensure the highest level of prevention, Fetal Care Center Dallas has put all CDC recommended protocols in place. This includes ensuring we have the necessary supplies, equipment and staffing, and we also have instituted a rigorous screening process. Any patient who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will be masked and isolated to ensure the safety of our staff and patients.
Can I still bring a visitor on my appointment?
For the time being, we are asking that patients attend their appointments alone, unless the patient is a minor or has a disability or impairment that requires someone to attend with them.
Are you still performing fetal surgery?
The life-saving fetal surgery procedures and interventions we provide at Fetal Care Center Dallas are considered medically necessary, which means we will continue providing all of our treatments and surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue providing full support and all fetal services for high-risk pregnancies.
What precautions should I be taking?
Following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is your best bet for protecting yourself and others. These protocols include:
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- If you feel sick, stay at home
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth
- Always cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Throw used tissues in the trash immediately and wash your hands
- Wash hands frequently using warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
- If you are not able to wash your hands with soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. (Find more information on cleaning your home here.)
What do I do if someone in my house gets sick?
If someone in your home gets sick, they should remain separated from others living in the house as much as possible. Avoid close contact with them, and limit the amount of contact you have. Provide them with personal cleaning supplies such as tissues, paper towels and cleaners so they can clean up the space around them as needed. If possible, use separate bathrooms and always wear gloves to handle any items (dishes, cups, laundry) after use. Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands thoroughly immediately after use.
Am I at greater risk for getting COVID-19?
According to the CDC, pregnant women appear to have the same risk of getting COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant. However, it’s always important to protect yourself from illness, so follow the protocols mentioned above to help reduce your risk.
What if I get sick?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, follow the advice of your healthcare team. Stay home except to get medical care, separate yourself from other people in your home and wear a face mask when you are around other people in your home as well as when you go to get medical care. If you have questions or concerns, please contact our office.
Can my unborn baby get the coronavirus?
The CDC reports that mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy is unlikely, but a newborn will be more susceptible to person-to-person transmission. The virus has not been found in any amniotic fluid, breast milk or other maternal samples.
What signs and symptoms should I watch for?
The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild symptoms to severe illness, and usually appear between two and 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Those symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
If you have any of these symptoms, or other severe symptoms that concern you, please call our office or contact your care provider directly as soon as possible.
You should get medical attention immediately if you develop any emergency warning signs for COVID-19, which are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Bluish lips or face
What conditions put people at higher risk for complications?
General recommendations for people living with congenital heart disease are the same as those for the general population above.
Though information about congenital heart disease and coronavirus is limited, there are a handful of resources for patients. Michigan Medicine Congenital Heart Center has identified conditions it says may put people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications. They include pulmonary hypertension, heart transplant, unrepaired complex congenital heart disease and a single heart ventricle, which means one of the lower chambers of the heart hasn’t developed, reducing the amount of oxygenated blood to the body. Research is underway to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on patients with congenital heart disease.
It is important for people with congenital heart disease to remember that this time of uncertainty is not permanent.
According to Fetal Care Center pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Reenu Eapen, “We need to adjust our activities for this period when COVID-19 is spreading in communities. We need to maintain our best health, guard ourselves, and respect each other by protective distancing.”
Is my child with CHD at higher risk of getting COVID-19?
There is still a lot to be learned about COVID-19. Currently, serious illness in children appears to be less common than it is in adults. At this time, there is no clear evidence to suggest that children with congenital heart disease are at greater risk of being infected with COVID-19, or of serious illness if they get the infection. However, as any viral infection may affect children with certain congenital cardiac defects more significantly compared with healthy children, you and your child should strictly follow physical distancing measures as outlined by government guidelines.
Sources: American Heart Association News, Toronto SickKids
Fetal Care Center Dallas is taking all the precautions possible and is working to help all of our patients through this challenging time. If you have questions or concerns, please call our office at (972) 566-5600.