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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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LPCH vs Sequoia

Uploaded: May 10, 2017
When we moved to the Bay Area our son was less than a year old. When meeting other new moms, we usually talked about our birth stories. Most of the moms I met gave birth at either Sequoia or Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH). While both hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, many of the new moms I talked with seemed to prefer Sequoia to LPCH. LPCH sounded ideal for mothers experiencing complications during their pregnancies while Sequoia sounded ideal for women wanting a natural childbirth. When I became pregnant again, I decided to deliver our daughter at Sequoia.

Overall, I wasn't overly impressed by Sequoia. When recovering from childbirth I was unlucky and had nurses who were used to taking care of first time moms. I felt like I was constantly explaining why my husband wasn't staying overnight with me, why he wasn't in the room more often, and why I wanted to go home as soon as I could, etc. Was it really that surprising that I had another child that needed to be taken care of?

When I got pregnant with our third, I decided to have her at LPCH. I knew the new children's hospital wouldn't be ready yet, so I might end up sharing a room post-delivery. And I planned to labor at home as long as possible so there was less chance of any unnecessary interventions.

My labor, delivery and recovery experience at LPCH far exceeded my expectations. When we walked in, we were greeted by very friendly staff who helped us get to labor and delivery. My nurse happily looked over my birth plan and helped ensure that it was followed as closely as possible.

I was very lucky and ended up not having to share a room at all during my hospital stay. And, I was also lucky to have friendly nurses who had multiple kids themselves and understood my desire to go back home to my other little ones. They kept me updated about what needed to be done before baby and I could be discharged and were happy to help me leave about 24 hours after I delivered.

I am very grateful that both of my deliveries were quick and uncomplicated. I was able to deliver both of our kids naturally and both labors were fast (neither of my doctors made it to the hospital in time to deliver baby). After each birth I was able to hold baby right away and we were given some time to just rest and enjoy our new little one. My overall experience at both hospitals was positive. And I'm very grateful that the doctors and nurses helped my babies and me stay healthy and well taken care of. But my nurses at LPCH went above and beyond to make the experience much more pleasant than I had expected.

Did you give birth at either Sequoia or LPCH? What were your experiences?

Comments

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown,
on May 11, 2017 at 11:01 am

Marie is a registered user.

Since Sequoia is now run by Dignity Health, a Catholic organization, I would urge anyone to make sure that their ethics and intentions line up with Dignity's. Other hospitals run by Dignity Health have refused to do tubal ligations after birth, the safest time to do it. When I searched on tubal ligation on the Sequoia Hospital Dignity Health website, nothing came up, so they are not even upfront as to whether they will do it or not.

Web Link

Another alternative is El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. They have birthing suites and postpartum rooms, all of which are private. They offer certified nurse-midwives if you so choose. AFAIK, they are the most advanced maternity center in terms of patient care. They also have a level II and III NICU and so can handle all but the highest risk pregnancies. They deliver more than 5000 babies a year.

In contrast, Sequoia does not include the number of births on their website that I could find and has only a Level II nursery. Lucile Packard/Stanford also didn't include that number and of course is the premier place for high risk pregnancies. 2014 Caesarian rates: El Camino 27.6% Sequoia is 31.7%. Lucile Packard (Stanford) 27.9%.

Web Link

I have not given birth in CA but I have had loved ones at El Camino, Stanford and Sequoia. I participated in a birth at Sequoia but was not impressed, and that was before Dignity took over. In general, for nursing and patient care,I much preferred El Camino and recommend it for anything but highly specialized situations where Stanford is a world leader. El Camino is also highly ranked in any hospital survey I have seen.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Marie - Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the hospitals in the area. Especially your positive experience with El Camino.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Good nursing, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 12, 2017 at 7:03 am

When we had ours, Sequoia was the only one you could for sure get a private room. I had complications and cannot imagine having to deal with other people in the room. Things that went wrong and were no one's fault were handled in a way to ensure the best outcome not appearances.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 12, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Good nursing - Thank you for sharing your experience at Sequoia.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on May 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I posted this on NextDoor:
"How many of you have had experience with the newly remodeled Sequoia Hospital? As a board member of the Sequoia Healthcare District which sold the hospital to Catholic Charities West (now Dignity Health)in 2007, I am interested in the success of this community gem. A recent blog on the Almanac Web Link... raised some questions.
Tell us about your experiences."

These are ALL the responses so far:

Nancy
I had surgery at Sequoia a year and a half ago, and the experience couldn't have been better. I have high regard for the staff and the facility, which is beautiful.

Debbie
I wouldn't worry about that blog. It's possible they have too much time on their hands. I had a great experience at Sequoia hospital.

Rebecca
I had my first child at Sequoia two years ago and would plan on having any future deliveries there as well. I had one nurse that was not great, but the other 6-7 nurses were amazing and so wonderful! I felt like the experience was great and they were very accommodating to my birth preferences and wishes. I was also thankful for a beautiful, private room for delivery and post recovery.

Andy
30 years as our go to Hospital wether we want to or not. Love the new facilities, especially the finally finished parking. It's nice to have a competent medical facility 3 minutes 45 seconds away from where I play with my chainsaw.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on May 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

David responded to my NextDoor post with:
"They don't do abortions as a catholic hospital. Don't know about prescribing contraceptives."

I suppose that's relevant to some folks, but not a reason for shunning Sequoia Hospital.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on May 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

I have just read the Rebecca Chamorro story. It's unfortunate that the tubal ligation procedure was not discussed and committed to before the birth.

Sue responded to my NextDoor post:

We have had three experiences at Sequoia over the past 18 months. All three experiences have been outstanding. One was an emergency surgery, the second a planned surgery and the last an emergency room visit for another problem. Needless to say we hope we don't need to go there for another ten years... The care was so excellent that we changed our family trust document to leave money to Sequoia after our passing. That says it all.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 18, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Jack Hickey - Thanks for sharing the responses to your next door post. It's great to read the positive experiences.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on May 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

More responses to my NextDoor post:

Roberta
Love this place. Very caring staff.

Carol
I had a very unpleasant experience with Dignity's billing dept. after a visit to Sequoia's Emergency room. The ER visit itself was fine but I question their billing practices.

Margaret
Excellent! Especially pleasant doctor & caring nurse. No problems or complaints.

Yvonne
I had an excellent experience there the summer of 2015. ER visit then admitted, surgery then transfer to Stanford. My friend was with me most of the time and she's an RN at Kaiser. She was impressed too. I love Sequoia. Great care. They also recently got great scores on infection rates and other safety metrics so that says a lot!

Yvonne
Here are the safety scores:
Web Link

Annie
Had a procedure there recently. Absolutely nothing to complain about.

Debbie
Sequioa Hospital has always been where I went for surgeries, emergencies, Physical Therapy, lab & had many tests done there! Dignity Health will no longer accept Medi-cal unless it is an emergency. I am very disappointed. My doc is with Dignity Health & I couldn't go to the hospital where he sees patients! I was ok to keep my doctor after a long intensive process. One year later they have decided that since no contracts were agreed upon during that year, I can no longer see him. I've been seeing him for 34 yrs. Dignity's decision has cost many people the doctor they have had for a long time! I think it's just so unfair!

Terry
We live just minutes and have been going there off and on for 20 years. We have had nothing but good experiences there and excellent care. We have been through several surgeries, radiation etc and have had great nursing care. The staff has always been caring and professional. The rooms are great and very clean....I give it a A+


Ginger
Correction...it was sold to CHW =Catholic Healthcare West.

Jack Hickey from Emerald Hills
Of course. Catholic Healthcare West.

Valerie
I have heard wonderful things from moms who have used Sequoia Hospital for their pregnancy delivery.

Lara
I feel fortunate to have such a great resource so close. From a great delivery of my son to the occasional ER visits, it's a great place. Fortunately we haven't had to use the ER since completion of the remodel.

Beverly
Tubal ligations ARE done at Sequoia.

William
I completed 12 sessions at Sequoia Hospital Pysical Therapy for my Achilles Tendonitis mostly with a newer gal, Christina Howard in June. She is exceptionally good and caring. Did a few with MaryJo also and she is very good but Christina and I connected so well.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on May 19, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

More comments re: Sequoia Hospital on NextDoor:

Breanne
I spent 2 nights in the cardiology department a little over a month ago. I had different nurses over 3 days and every single one was kind, attentive and friendly! If you have to stay in the hospital, they made it the best experience possible.

Also just went to the ER for my younger brother and everyone we encountered was great and it was quick. Though he is 21, he even got Dora the Explorer stickers when he asked lol That gave everyone in the ER a good laugh :)

Anonymous
Hi, Jack....I've lived in this area for 60 years. Both kids born at Sequoia; husband's shoulder surgery; husband's lung cancer surgery at Sequoia; my back and gall bladder surgeries at Sequoia; last year (February) ER for my severe diarrhea problem (two different days). Son, John's shoulder and knee surgeries. We all LOVE Sequoia!! All staff...nurses, docs, helper-outers....what a great hospital to have in our community.

Thanks for asking; jus' thinkin'


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on May 24, 2017 at 9:52 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

More posts on NextDoor

Nancy
I had surgery at Sequoia a year and a half ago, and the experience couldn't have been better. I have high regard for the staff and the facility, which is beautiful.

Mark
I had an almost identical experience at Sequoia a few weeks ago. My son cut his finger and i made the mistake of taking him to the er. We got off lucky. No stitches, just super glue and a bandaid. $3,210.00
The thing that irked me is that they dont tell you that walking thru the door is a minimum of $1,500 or i woukd have walked out. Then, i asked for an itemized bill and it was nothing but acronyns. They said i would havd to go to the records department in person to get the bill interpreted. Love the people there. Hate the system.

Julia
Thank you for complimenting Sequoia Hospital Emergency Room Staff. We are kind and professional people! As for charges: every hospital charges incredible amount for ER visits. Call billing department and discuss with them. Are you required to pay $3600 or you just concern about your insurance company? Emergency Room is not a clinic/private MD office visit and the charges are always much higher. Remodel or no remodel.

William
I completed 12 sessions at Sequoia Hospital Pysical Therapy for my Achilles Tendonitis mostly with a newer gal, Christina Howard in June. She is exceptionally good and caring. Did a few with MaryJo also and she is very good but Christina and I connected so well.

Nanette
Sequoia hospital they are great

Margaret
I tried to find urgent care last spring - nothing available - so I ended up at Sequoia emergency. Would love to know if you locate any urgent care. My cuts and other stuff don't need A Dr., just a good nurse!


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