Safety for baby

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Recently, patients completed surveys about their visits to Tri-County Health Care. Mothers took the opportunity to rate their care and share details and stories about the staff of Tri-County Health Care. This story is just one of many examples of the exemplary care commonly associated with Tri-County Health Care. In terms of birthing services, safety for babies is priority number one. Because of this, we are always looking for ways to innovate while providing a comforting environment. 

Safety for baby

My baby was born without my doctor in the room. He came so fast that it required a rapid response, and all available staff rushed to help. A new OB nurse, Salma, helped me deliver my baby before others arrived. She was fantastic and calm throughout the process. My doctor made it in shortly after to finish the delivery. Then a tornado came through town the next night, and we were rushed to safety. It was a very eventful birth and hospital stay!

Safety for baby

In may 2022, a powerful storm passed through Wadena causing massive damage to local infrastructure.

The care I received was top-notch from start to finish. The scheduling staff worked diligently to make my appointments fit into my schedule. The prenatal nurses took excellent care of me during my pregnancy. They ensured that I had all the necessary tests and procedures and prepared me for my preferred delivery experience. The nurses also helped me sign up for prenatal yoga and an aquatics course. They even provided me with a free car seat and assisted in the installation!

All the nurses took amazing care of us, even during the bad storm. In the end, it was a happy and memorable experience. I could go on for days about how incredible all the staff were throughout my journey!

Our mission is to help you

Tri-County Health Care prides itself on providing quality care for everyone, including safety for the mother and her baby. Bringing new life into the world is a cherished duty that our obstetrics staff embraces each day. In conclusion, we thank this patient for her kind words.

If you would like to learn more about our birthing services or schedule an appointment, please call 218-631-3510.


PeriWatch Vigilance: Keep an eye on baby!

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Technology and medical care go hand in hand. The obstetrics department is no different. Bringing new life into the world is facilitated by skilled staff and high-end equipment. Those staff members need a way to harness the full potential of information technology so they can observe babies from anywhere! In June 2022, Tri-County Health Care will begin using PeriWatch Vigilance, an automated early warning system and support tool.

Continuous observation

This new technology is all about helping staff keep a closer eye on the babies they’re monitoring. Additionally, the software allows nurses to better cross observe each other’s patients and view fetal monitoring strips from anywhere. Furthermore, by using artificial intelligence and constant analysis, medical staff can be immediately notified of an issue with a baby. Now an OB provider can provide feedback and monitoring for a newborn in a completely different area of the facility.

The early detection system relies on color-coding. When the software detects an abnormality, information displays in orange. This color change prompts nurses and doctors to be on high alert. If the color changes to red, something is wrong, and the baby could be in danger.

Thoughts from Sarah

Obstetrics Supervisor Sarah Riedel was excited to demo the new PeriWatch system. She and her team are always on the lookout for ways to provide an even safer care environment. To them, the early detection system seemed to be a great way to always keep an eye on the babies, even from a distance! “It will be safer for babies. We can intervene quicker if we are aware of the problem,” explained Sarah. She predicts the PeriWatch system will be fully operational in early June 2022.

For more information about birthing services at Tri-County Health Care, please visit

Watch the video below for more background information on PeriWatch Vigilance.

Rear-facing car seats and child safety

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My father was one of 11 children and grew up on a farm about forty miles northeast of Rochester. He would often share stories about his parents and siblings cramming into the family car, all 13 of them. At the time, cars did not have seat belts let alone child safety seats. Thankfully, nobody was ever injured in a collision. This thought runs through my head all the time, what if something did happen? My father could have easily lost his life. Thankfully vehicle safety has come along way and rear-facing car seats have been adopted across the board.

Celine's father and his siblings would often fill the family car with little concern for safety.

Which car seat is the safest?

A car seat is obviously a necessity but which one is the safest? This question is difficult to answer because the safest car seat is one that properly fits the vehicle and the child. Equally as important, the car seat needs to be used correctly every single ride. Children should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible until a child outgrows their rear-facing car seat because this particular car seat is safer than a forward-facing car seat.

Why should I choose rear-facing car seats?

Most car crashes impact the front of the vehicle and about a quarter of cars are hit on the side. As the car comes abruptly to a stop, a child’s body continues to move forward. Rear-facing car seats keep a child’s head, neck, and spine straight, so it does not twist. If the spine is twisted, the child could become paralyzed or die. Rear-facing seats also provide extra protection for a toddler’s bones which are fairly soft. Astronauts blasting off into space use rear-facing seats because it is so much safer!

This link will take you to a video explaining crash force:

An infant seat is for very small children.

Infant car seats

The two common types of rear-facing car seats are infant seats and convertible seats. Infant car seats are made of two parts, a carrier and a base. The infant car seats have a base that stays attached to the vehicle and the carrier is easily clicked in and out of the base. Infant car seats are only used rear-facing. Children typically outgrow their infant car seat between 6 to 14 months of age.

Convertible car seats

Once an infant or toddler outgrows their rear-facing infant seat, they need a convertible car seat, which can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing with the harness. Convertible car seats are bigger and bulkier than infant seats and can be used for a longer period of time. This type of seat can typically be used until the child is three to four years old. Because of their size, once they are installed, they stay in the vehicle.

How long should my child ride rear-facing?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends children use rear-facing car seats for as long as possible or until a child outgrows their convertible car seat in the rear-facing position by reaching the size limit listed in the instruction manual. Most children do not reach this weight or height limit until they are three to four years old.

A convertible car seat is for bigger children and requires a permanent installation.

Tri-County Health Care offers free help!

Car seats can be confusing and Tri-County Health Care is here to help! Several nurses are certified car seat technicians and offer free car seat installation checks. Please call 218-631-7538 to schedule an appointment with a certified car seat technician. The visit takes around 30 minutes and you should bring your child along. The certified car seat technicians have found that about 50 percent of the installs are incorrect. Sometimes the straps are too loose, the seat is not tight enough, or the seat is the improper size for the child.

Child Safety survey

The link below will take you to an optional survey regarding child passenger safety. This survey is anonymous and takes about one minute to complete.

About the Author:

Celine Durgin is a Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) medical student and attends the University of Minnesota Medical School. She is from Southeast Minnesota. Celine enjoys studying, hiking, and going to church. She plans on becoming a Family Medicine physician.

Milk donations for 2020

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Pregnancy is one of the most difficult things a woman can experience. However, the challenges don’t end after birth. Sometimes new mothers discover they can’t produce enough milk or none at all. This common occurrence can cause anxiety and feelings of failure. Every mother should have the support and the milk depot at Tri-County Health Care helps them make milk donations.

Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies

Labor and Delivery Supervisor Sarah Riedel has managed milk donations in partnership with Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies. The Golden Valley based organization provides donated milk to mothers in need. Tri-County Health Care is a donation site and Sarah is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant responsible for receiving donations. Since the start of the milk depot, Riedel has overseen donations from all over Minnesota. She knows from firsthand experience how important it is for newborns to receive breast milk.

Naomi Horn donated 1660 ounces of milk in 2020

Naomi Horn: 1,660 ounces

The milk depot received 5,080 ounces of donated milk in 2020. 1,660 ounces came from a single donor. Naomi has three children and knows how important good milk is for a growing baby. She was always blessed with an abundant supply of milk, so much that she threw out excess milk with her first two children. She vowed to do things differently with her youngest, Moriah.

Naomi experienced many issues feeding Moriah; she wouldn’t take the bottle. After four months of trying different bottles, nipples, and temperatures, Moriah finally took the bottle. Naomi produced so much milk in the meantime that she filled two large freezers. Not wanting to waste any milk, she contacted Tri-County Health Care and Sarah Riedel for assistance. In only a few months, she saw her donation drive away. Since she donated so much, a representative from the milk bank personally came to her home and picked up the donation.

Liquid Gold

“It’s liquid gold,” said Naomi about her milk. With her third child, she didn’t waste a drop. She discussed the pressure on women to produce milk. She wants to remind everyone that raising children is a delicate process, and if you can’t produce milk, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother. Services like the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies exist to help. Naomi also encourages mothers that produce excess milk to donate. She described donating as incredibly rewarding and an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Donating milk is easy and rewarding.

How to donate

If you find that you’re producing excess milk, it may be wise to consult a doctor before donating. After that, contact a donation site like Tri-County Health Care. After filling out the paperwork, a representative from the milk bank will contact you for a phone screen. From there, you will provide health history information and go through testing. After approval from the milk bank, you will be given a donor number. This donor number needs to be placed on the milk container. The last step is to schedule a date with a drop off site.

To learn more or donate milk at Tri-County Health Care, please visit our Milk Depot page or contact Sarah Riedel at 218-632-8741.