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Island Hospitals

November 12, 2006 04:18AM
I am going to be moving there next month but I am a little worried about how the hospitals are up there. I had to have a c-section once before and I just want to make sure it is going to ok. If anyone can give me insight about any information about the hospitals and delivering a baby I would love to hear it. Thank you so much.

Marty on STT
Re: Island Hospitals
November 12, 2006 10:30AM
Registered: 01/21/2005
Posts: 1,203
Which island? And where are you coming from that The Virgin Islands are 'up there'? Haha!

Seriously, I can only give you MY experience, which was on STT at the Roy Lester Schneider hospital,. I was in a serious motorcycle accident, transported, unconcious, to the Emergency Room, when I was 'treated'. When my wife arrived, she was told by one nurse that I would never walk again and I'd be paralyzed from the neck down. Then the opthalmologist came by and said that I'd never see out of my left eye again. The next day when I regained conciousness, even though my brain was pretty screwed up and I didn't know who people were, inclucing my wife, I could see just fine, and I am NOT paralyzed. After 6 days in ICU, I was released, but my wife signed us up for MASA (Medical Air Services Association) the next day.

Just recently I went to get my medical records from the hospital to give to the VA for my doc there, and they couldn't find me in their system. Not on paper, either. They found me for other things that I've been there for, but nothing regarding my brain injury. 2 weeks later, tey called me and said they'd found it, come get it. I picked it up and perused thru it. Nope. Only cursory info in there. So, basically, I spent $25,000 with them, and they still can't provide me with any records of what was done to me. Nice, huh?

Neither my wife, nor I, have anything good to say about the hospital here. Just my opinion here, but, were I you, I'd deliver somewhere else.

Good luck.

~Marty on STT

Re: Island Hospitals
November 12, 2006 10:47AM
Registered: 11/03/2006
Posts: 1,162
Marty, Tho I can totally relate to your story and have little good to say, I am fortunate to say otherwise! I can remember after Hurricane Marilyn, when military arrived, thinkin' that was the time to need the hospital as we had the military tent set up! How lucky for us to have them! A good plan to have MASA for anyone!
Anywho, my daughter just had a birth at Roy Lester Schneider Hospital, tho it was a normal birth. I was scared about her having this birth there. I went to the states to have my son 19 yrs ago and had probably the same birth I would have had here. Then I had my daughter, believe it or not "at home" in STT. It was a wonderful experience!
My daughters birth, I am so happy to say, was wonderful at the hospital!!!! Excellent as a matter of fact! Won't go into all the details, don't think everyone is interested!!! happy It was so good tho, that I have been meaning to write a thank you to the staff and also acknowledge it in the newspaper! If there is one thing our hospital can do here is BIRTH!!!! Think about it! I have to be honest tho, I don't know their policies on C-sections. Rachel, you can go to the hospital and find out. Remember tho, there is such a thing as V-BACK also! I can get you started in the right places Rachel as I am a LL leader. Feel free to e-mail me or sign on to the forum and Private Message me!

Marty on STT
Re: Island Hospitals
November 12, 2006 11:47AM
Registered: 01/21/2005
Posts: 1,203
Well, Sherri, I should think that we must do something right at our hospital..look at how we breed here! We're multiplying like rabbits! Haha! So, at least we know how to deliver babies! Yay! One point for RLS Hospital!

~Marty on STT

Re: Island Hospitals
November 12, 2006 07:44PM
Registered: 10/13/2006
Posts: 397
I had a close friend die at RLS hospital due to gross malpractice; so horrible that the hospital had no choice but to argee that they misdiagnosed the real problem and left in untreated resulting in death.
It is unfortunate, but with a goverment run hospital and such a poorly run government, you get the bottom of the barrell when it comes to doctors. The nurses there had more knowledge than the doctors.
While people may have been lucky, I would never trust this hospital.

Re: Island Hospitals
November 12, 2006 09:54PM
Registered: 06/29/2006
Posts: 163
If I were you, I'd be posting on the relocation board about this. I'm a hospital person by profession and during the last couple of trips to STJ, I quizzed former mainlanders about the quality of care and frankly, being a spoiled New Englander with good hospitals, I would be REALLY cautious. The relocation board people are like Marty and can give you alot more info. Basically, some services are there, alot aren't. After our last vacation there, I told my husband that despite of our profound love of STJ and the people there, I wouldn't move there permanently based partly on the lack of certain services. Hospitals are very complicated as Marty pointed out, its not just the right drug and bandaid and the right anesthesia, its way beyond that. Can you postphone your move until after the baby is born? Again, do a query on the relocation board.

Re: Island Hospitals
November 13, 2006 02:34AM
Sorry about not listing the Island. I'm actually moving to STT. So all your opinions are helping me out right now. I am still thinking of just setting a date for my c-section and move to my mothers in the states a month before that date and have the baby there. I was just hoping the hospitals were excellent for delivery so my husband can be there for the delivery as well. Thank you so much for your opinion and help! Rachel

Re: Island Hospitals
November 13, 2006 11:58AM
Registered: 11/03/2006
Posts: 1,162
Yes, to plan to have your c-section in the states would be the right choice, tho since you are setting a date, your husband could plan to be there. Didn't mean to undermine anyone and their experiences, our hospital is SCARY to say the least. As Marty said, one thing we can do well here is breed! I know from experience, our hospital is resistant to change as well. New idea's do not go over at all and many good Doctors have left because of it. I was simply ecstatic that we had a good birthing experience!!!! But then, I also chose to use the hospital clinic for my daughter as I knew a mid-wife would deliver instead of a private Dr. which meant less interference. Sounds bazaar, I know, but a midwife is better than a Dr. and of course Rachel needs a Dr. Our c-section rate is higher in both PR and STT than the states so that is to be taken into consideration for those who are first timers.
As for the relocation forum, I ck'd it out and was surprised at how little of a response one person got about moving here in January. She got only one other person other than myself. I was disappointed for her! Tho I realize this is the forum that should have been used for this topic. Good Luck Rachel and if you intend on Breastfeeding there is a local LLL chapter here. This is a good way to find good friends locally. There are also play groups last I knew. happy

East Ender
Re: Island Hospitals
November 13, 2006 12:36PM
Registered: 01/20/2005
Posts: 1,838
Rachel: You may want to contact Margaret Sprauve, MD. She was at a conference recently and stated that as long as the mom has prenatal care, there are very few problems. The only birthing problems recently have been Haitian nationals who arrive in time to give birth with language difficulties, immigration issues and no prenatal care.

I would be careful about reports of any care more than two years in the past. There is an old belief that things do not change in the Virgin Islands. It is not true. Things may change slowly, but they do change. The Roy L Schneider Hospital is JCAHO accredited. It is NOT government run; it has been a semi-autonomous agency for 7 years. There are areas that are not covered- no full-time neurosurgeon, for example. The hospital is like a rural hospital in America in many ways.

The hospital website: [] may be able to provide you with some more information.

Re: Island Hospitals
November 13, 2006 04:42PM
Registered: 08/29/2006
Posts: 100
Sherri, sent you a PM.

Good Experience at Hospital
November 13, 2006 08:44PM
I think things have improved greatly in the last few years.
Two years ago on a Sunday afternoon in January, my wife collapsed and had a serious of seizures.
She regained consciousness on the floor and bleeding, yet she fought me when I said she had to go to the hospital.
Both of us were frightened because we had heard the horror stories over the years about the hospital.
She went by ambulance, and I grabbed a night gown for her and told friends I would probably spend the night at the hospital.
Much to my surprise they were waiting for us. A doctor saw her immediately and within an hour she was stitched up, X-rayed, had blood work, and a neurologist (from Boston for most of his career) had seen her.
I had her back to the condo by 9:30.
She could have had an MRI the next day if we choose to.
We returned home to the Boston area as soon as we could. You guessed it with all the medical resources in Boston it took weeks to get an MRI and be seen by a neurologist. Had we gone to a local hospital on a Sunday night we would have been there until the wee hours of the morning
One funny side to the story (funny now not then), is that every nurse, doctor, EMT, and anyone that saw her all asked the same question.
"How much have you had to drink."
I think she was perhaps the only patient in the history of the hospital that passed out and woke up on the floor on a Sunday afternoon that hadn't been drinking.

Re: Island Hospitals
November 13, 2006 09:18PM
Registered: 11/03/2006
Posts: 1,162
East Ender,
You are so right, things are changing!!! I have to believe that is also why my daughter had an excellent birth! I know that when I had my children, I would have never had the options my daughter had. Not only that, I was speaking to a mid-wife recently who not only had worked here, but elsewhere in the states. Her frustrations as a midwife were universal! NOT just here! Not only that, but her frustrations were mostly due to the patient wanting drugs! Which entirely inter-fears with a normal birth! As for Doctors, I didn't want to give the impression that I was discouraging them, but that we got great care THRU the hospital using midwives. Midwives really try to do things more naturally and it was also much less expensive the route we went. Thank you East Ender for responding and for reminding me things ARE changing!
Andrea266, got your pm and see you have already found this thread! Keep in touch!
Beautiful Bill, So happy to hear another good report! and LOVED the end of your story! happy

Linda J
Re: Island Hospitals
November 13, 2006 09:34PM
Registered: 01/20/2005
Posts: 828
For what its worth, I've had two experiences with the STX hospital ER and feel I was treated professionally and appropriately both times.

My feeling is that what they do they do just like a small, rural hospital.

Re: Island Hospitals
November 14, 2006 03:23AM
Generally, if you've had a previous delivery by c-section, doctors will want to deliver the next child by c-section. That means that this will be a scheduled surgery and you have choices where to have it performed. I can't imagine anyone living on the mainland who would travel to STT in order to have a surgery done there. If it were a simple, uncomplicated birth you'd probably be fine, but things can go wrong. When you've got choices, you just don't take any chances.

Re: Island Hospitals
November 14, 2006 07:36AM
Registered: 07/24/2006
Posts: 74
Someone stated that the hospital was JCAHO accredited, well, in my humble opinion, that doesn't mean much! I work at a psychiatric hospital that was built in the early 1900's, and we don't offer as much as the private psych hospitals, but yet we come through a JCAHO survey with flying colors! As a nurse, I can tell you that many complications can arise with a C-section, and you are much safer in a large hospital on the mainland, though I have never experienced a hospital stay while on island there.


Ted Hebbler
Re: Island Hospitals
December 29, 2006 05:11PM
Anyone who needs info on the state of hospitals in the US Virgin Islands may email me anytime.I worked in both hospitals on St Thomas and St. Croix while developing their first nuclear cardiology/nuclear medicine programs.I spent 3 years at the Gov.Juan Luis Hospital on St. Croix and 4 years at the Gov.Roy Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas.................1999-2006.I can tell you the good the bad and the

Re: Island Hospitals
January 01, 2007 07:00AM

Re: Island Hospitals
January 01, 2007 09:05AM
Registered: 12/11/2006
Posts: 135
That's not exactly true, Teresa. My neighbor is a Public Health nurse & she has told me often of how many babies whose mothers aren't citizens get flown to Puerto Rico or Miami at taxpayer's expense. We also have MASA which is insurance to fly us off-island if the proper care isn't available here.

Our hospital used to be a real nightmare but has vastly improved. I was comfortable enough with it to have an eye operation there a year ago. My only complaint was the expense which was far higher than San Juan or the mainland.


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