3 Maryland abortion clinics have licenses suspended

Three abortion clinics in Maryland had their licenses suspended last week as a result of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene inspections.

Associates in OB/GYN Care locations in Baltimore city, Silver Spring and Landover all had their licenses flagged.

According to a letter from the DHMH, in order resume performing surgical abortion procedures, the company will need to submit a plan of correction, implement the plan of correction and have no other identified serious deficiencies. The facilities are allowed to stay open and provide other procedures while the plan of correction is being implemented.

The DHMH letter states the following about the issues identified at the three locations:

Baltimore – "Surveyors identified a deficient response by facility staff  to a cardiopulmonary arrest in a patient. The responding physician was not certified in CPR, and no attempt was made to use the automated external defibrillator (AED). In addition, during the survey, the AED was not operational."

Silver Spring – "Surveyors found deficient care of a patient, who after undergoing an abortion, was left alone in the procedure room for approximately three minutes. When the patient began to awaken, she was at risk for falling and otherwise injuring herself."

Landover – "Surveyors noted deficiencies in emergency readiness. The AEDs's pads had expired; the clinical nurse on site did not know how to use the AED or the suction machine; the nurses had not been trained on the use of the AED or the suction machine; and the suction machine did not work, because the adapter was missing."

The rules governing surgical abortion providers in Maryland were published in July 2012. The measures implemented marked the first time surgical abortion facilities in the state became subject to licensure. 

Officials with the DHMH say that of the 16 providers in the state, 13 were found free of deficiencies upon inspection/review.

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