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Memorial Hospital closing labor and delivery unit due to nursing shortage


Small-town hospitals are feeling the effects of a national nursing shortage, including Memorial Hospital in Carthage.

Its labor and delivery unit, called the Stork Stopp, will close Dec. 1.

After that, birthing services will be moved to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, unless patients choose to deliver elsewhere.

Out-patient prenatal, post-partum, women’s health, and pediatric services will remain available at Memorial Medical Clinics in Carthage.

Hospital officials said nurses trained to work in labor and delivery need to be in-house, even when there are no obstetric patients.

But Memorial has struggled to recruit nurses, depending on contract nurses instead.

Expectant mothers currently seeking care at Memorial will be notified by the hospital.

CEO Ada Blair said the decision to close inpatient OB services was “difficult and emotional.”

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson covers west central Illinois and southeast Iowa for Tri States Public Radio.