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Keesler Medical Center No Longer Shelter for Expectant Mothers

By Lt Col Michael Bashford
81st Surgical Operations Squadron     Filed 5/15/07  GCN

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - In the past,
expectant mothers with high risk problems or close to the end of their pregnancies were provided the opportunity to shelter in the hospital on Keesler AFB during a hurricane. 

Due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the hospital is no longer available as a hurricane shelter and will be closed in the event of a hurricane.  All personnel will be evacuated and there will be no services available.  Expectant mothers are encouraged to place their own safety first when planning for the hurricane season this year.  If you are pregnant, you should consider the following:

  1. Make early evacuation arrangements at a safe haven near a medical facility where care can be obtained if needed.  Call TRICARE at 800-700-8603 if your safe location is not near a military facility that does obstetrics.  TRICARE can help you chose a provider at your safe haven location prior to needing care.  Also, make arrangements about how to contact the provider should you begin labor or develop an emergency.
  2. At all times, if an emergency occurs/labor begins, go to the nearest ER with a copy of your OB Medical Record.  Please call TRICARE within 24 hours of your visit
  3. Obtain a copy of your obstetrical medical record and hand carry it with you.
  4. Have an emergency bag packed with items you may want or need for yourself, family, and the new baby in the event of delivery while away. 
  5. Have a good understanding of your Tricare coverage prior to leaving the area.  If you have questions or need clarification, you may call our local Tricare office at 800-444-5445 for assistance.

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