Obstetrics Emergency Department (OB ED)


For expectant mothers, it seems an issue always arises when your obstetrician or midwife’s office is closed. South Shore Health has developed a combined Obstetrics Emergency (OB ED) program that ensures quick, efficient care in an effort to eliminate any anxiety and stress that an expectant mother might experience when visiting a traditional ED. 

We are proud to debut our OB ED at South Shore Hospital—a valuable resource for pregnancy-related emergencies that just can’t wait until morning.

As the first of its kind in Massachusetts, the OB ED serves pregnant women over 20 weeks of gestation in a dedicated space that’s equipped to handle pregnancy-related emergencies.

The OB ED is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and offers enhanced coverage to pregnant women with obstetrical concerns.

The OB ED can typically assess, treat, and discharge obstetrical patients much faster than a general emergency department or obstetrical triage setting, and ensures that a specialist in high-risk obstetrics evaluates every patient to help improve patient safety.

Our Approach
If possible, we recommend you call your obstetrician or midwife before coming in. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.

All women over 20 weeks pregnant will be seen by an in-house, board-certified obstetric provider. Our caregivers will evaluate you and your baby’s condition. Our clinician will work with your primary obstetric provider to make decisions about hospital admission or discharge. 

The following symptoms may prompt you to be seen in the OB ED:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Concern about pre-term labor
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Urinary tract or bladder infections
  • Conditions related to high-risk pregnancy (such as high blood pressure)

Frequently Asked Questions about South Shore Hospital’s OB ED

The OB ED is located on the second floor of South Shore Hospital, and can be accessed through the Main Emergency Department entrance (located on Fogg Road). Take a left towards the South Lobby, follow the signs, and take the elevators to the second floor. Look for signage, as you exit the elevators, to navigate to the check-in area. 

You can also ask our concierge for directions.

As early on in your pregnancy as possible, it’s a good idea to set up a protocol for emergencies with your provider. That way you’ll know which symptoms are always a red flag that require immediate medical attention, which should be addressed sooner rather than later and which are totally normal.

If you feel you are having an emergency but are under 20 weeks pregnant, it’s very important you have all the support you need. You can get support from your care team by calling your obstetrician or midwife first who will give you next step recommendations based on your symptoms. 

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, it's always best to call 911.

While we want to work with patients to ensure cost is never prohibitive from seeking emergency obstetrical care, please note that insurance carriers will process any visits to the OB ED as an emergency room visit, subject to any co-pays, co-insurance or other applicable fees under a patient’s policy. If you have questions, call the number on the back of your insurance card.

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