Tiffany Ford, Piedmont Newton Hospital

Labor and delivery nurse saves mom during postpartum hemorrhage

Labor and delivery nurse Tiffany Ford’s quick thinking and actions saved a mother’s life during a postpartum hemorrhage, her manager at Piedmont Newton Hospital said.

Charge nurse Cara Dubal said Ford was caring for a high-risk patient with a scheduled caesarean section. The mom was nervous because, even though this was her sixth baby, it was her first C-section.

The delivery and early recovery went well, but then the patient began bleeding heavily. Ford immediately notified her surgeon and charge nurse to come to the bedside.

“At this point, her uterus was not staying firm at all, and that’s really what we needed to stop the bleeding,” said Ford, who was presented with an AJC Nurse Excellence Award on Tuesday afternoon.

Staff took appropriate measures for the postpartum hemorrhage but could not stop the bleeding, so the patient was sent back to the operating room.

“It’s normally a five-minute walk, but we were running,” Ford said. “I ended up getting in bed and riding with her, massaging her fundus (upper portion of the uterus) to try and keep it firm until we got to the OR.”

After a transfer to Piedmont Hospital Atlanta, the patient fully recovered and was discharged in the same week, said Dubal, who nominated Ford for the award.

“Tiffany’s quick thinking and action no doubt saved this mother’s life,” she said. “She is a keen and compassionate nurse who cares deeply for her patients.

“I am proud to work alongside Tiffany and see how she advocates and cares for her patients. She is a fantastic nurse, and I know she will continue to provide exceptional care to her future patients.”

Ford said labor and delivery are not always “rainbows and babies,” and can be stressful and, for some, a time of loss.

“You don’t have a lot of time to think, but thankfully, it’s not just you in those situations. You usually have a good team with you,” Ford said. “I definitely had a great team that helped that day.”

Ford said she has wanted to be a nurse since elementary school. In second grade, she dressed like her labor and delivery nurse aunt for career day.

The 27-year-old grew up in McDonough and lives there now. She attended Middle Georgia State University in Macon and has been a nurse for five years, all in labor and delivery. She was one of 10 nurses to receive this year’s award, out of nearly 800 nominations.

“I love helping people start their families,” she said. “We see a whole lot of new lives start every day. And when people do lose their baby, (I like) just being there and helping them through a very hard time in their life.”

Read about the other winners