Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19

1. May 2020

Dear patient and visitor! We will be updating this section on an ongoing basis with answers to questions we are most frequently asked.

Inpatient care

Will my family member continue to receive hospital treatment?

  • All current inpatients will receive prescribed treatment and be released once their condition allows this.

Will the treatment of oncological patients continue?

  • Both surgeries and chemotherapy will continue as before.
  • If you are displaying symptoms of acute viral disease (cough, fever, etc.) or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, contact your doctor or in the case of surgical treatment, the Surgery Clinic assistant on 620 7080 or in the case of chemotherapy, the Oncology Centre secretary on 606 7771.

 

Scheduled treatments have been suspended

I have a doctor's appointment scheduled – will this be cancelled now?

  • We have suspended scheduled treatments to prioritise treatment for critical patients.
  • We will be contacting people with previously scheduled appointments and treatments. Patients can expect to hear from their doctor or the hospital's representative.
  • Depending on the patient's health condition, the doctor will decide whether to postpone the appointment, arrange a remote consultation over the phone or call the patient in for treatment.

I have not received a text message or a phone call. Will my test/appointment take place? Do I have to wait for months again or should I come in from the other side of Estonia?

  • Patients will be informed with a text message two days prior to their appointment at the hospital and over the phone at least one day before their scheduled appointment at the hospital.
  • We will contact all patients. If you have not been contacted via a text message or by phone, you are expected to come in for your appointment.
  • In order to be sure, call 666 1900. Should you wish, you can send an e-mail to info@itk.ee and we will reply at the earliest opportunity.
  • Please review your contact details at www.ipatsient.ee.

Is the Emergency Medicine Centre still working?

  • The Emergency Medicine Centre is working. We continue to provide emergency care and emergency eye care.
  • ​However, we remind you that people with the COVID-19 virus or persons who are experiencing symptoms related to the illness (coughing, runny nose, fever) should not turn to emergency care. We also ask that you not seek emergency care if you have mild symptoms of viral disease.
  • We recommend first calling your family physician for advice or calling the family physician hotline at 1220 or the emergency number 112.

 

General information

Are visits to someone at the hospital allowed?

  • Visiting patients at the hospital is prohibited. Packages and flowers are also not accepted. We are monitoring the situation and will let you know once you can continue visiting patients and delivering packages.

Can I come in for a blood test?

  • You can give a blood sample if you do not display symptoms of a viral disease and have not been abroad in the last 14 days. Note: Patients are asked to come alone with the exception of people with special needs who require assistance.
  • The blood sample collection room of the Ravi unit  is open on business days 7:30-15:00.
  • The blood sample collection room of the Magdaleena unit is open on business days 7:30-15:00.
  • The blood sample collection room of the Tõnismäe unit is open on business days 8:30-13:00.

Is bandaging still performed?

  • Bandaging (incl. stitch removals) is still performed.
  • People with the COVID-19 virus or persons who are experiencing symptoms related to the illness (coughing, runny nose, fever) should not come in.

 

Women's Clinic

Where can I obtain information during the state of emergency?

Women’s Health Centre

  • The telephone number for contacting an on-call gynaecologist is +327 5887 4256 for service in Estonian and +372 5884 8485 for service in Russian – the line is available from 8:00-16:00 Monday-Friday.
  • Call to have a repeat prescription extended and ask for advice on various gynaecology-related complaints.

Maternity Counselling Centre

  • The midwives' hotline is 5397 7077. The hotline is available from 8:00-16:00 Monday-Friday.
  • Our midwives offer advice to all pregnant women registered with East-Tallinn Central Hospital.

Maternity hospital

  • The reception midwife's hotline is 5308 0874. The hotline is available 24/7.
  • If you have contracted the coronavirus and require delivery care, notify reception before your arrival to the maternity hospital.

Centre for Infertility Treatment

  • The Centre for Infertility Treatment hotline is 5919 8395. The hotline is available on business days 8:00-16:00.
  • We provide information on matters pertaining to infertility treatment, incl. in relation to the postponement of scheduled infertility treatments and further instructions, over the phone.

Youth Clinic

  • The Youth Clinic hotline is 606 7525. The hotline is available 9:00-14:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Our midwife will offer telephone guidance to young people who are up to 26 years old (inclusive). You can call if you have any urgent questions about using birth control methods, unintended pregnancy and other topics related to sexuality.
  • There are special times on Tuesdays and Thursdays for renewing birth control prescriptions. You can book an appointment by calling our call centre on 666 1900. You do not need to come in for your appointment. The midwife will contact you by phone and issue a digital prescription.

 

Emergency care at the Women's Clinic

How should I behave when coming to emergency care for a gynaecological issue?

  • Please seek emergency care at the Women's Clinic only if it is absolutely necessary.
  • If you are displaying symptoms of acute viral disease (cough, fever, etc.) or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and require emergency gynaecological care, notify the reception area in advance by calling 5308 0874. This will allow hospital employees to prepare.

How is the staff at the maternity hospital protected?

  • The patient must be completely honest and open when communicating with the staff and inform them of any potential contact with sources of coronavirus or contaminated people or if they have been to high-risk areas. This is the only way the patient can protect the staff as well as themselves.
  • The staff use personal protective equipment in accordance with the patient's health status and the severity of the patient's condition to protect themselves and stop the virus from spreading. All healthcare professionals who have had contact with people diagnosed with coronavirus without using personal protective equipment must remain in quarantine for two weeks.

 

Coming in to give birth

I am about to give birth, but I have been diagnosed with coronavirus. How should I proceed?

  • Call 5308 0874 and let us know in advance when you are coming. Use the ambulance service or your own car for transport to the hospital (do not use public transport, e.g. a taxi). Report suspected coronavirus when calling an ambulance.
  • Upon arrival in the hospital courtyard, contact the midwife in reception again and wait in the car until they come to you.

Will women who come to give birth be tested for the coronavirus?

  • All pregnant women who come to the hospital to give birth will be tested for COVID-19 to ensure the safety of the mother-to-be and the hospital staff.

Can the father or other support partners attend the birth?

  • We have currently suspended all family deliveries until the general situation improves. Please bring all the clothing items needed to take your newborn home as you arrive at the hospital.

If I have been diagnosed with COVID-19, will I be separated from my baby after birth?

  • Mothers who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 will be separated from their newborn for two weeks to prevent transmission of the disease to the baby.
  • Women's and children's clinics make sure that newborn babies are monitored and taken care of, but newborn babies will not be released from the hospital before 48 hours of age.
  • If necessary, mothers will be shown how to pump breast milk and advised on how to sustain lactation to facilitate the switch to breastfeeding later on.
  • The decisions of mothers who refuse to isolate their newborn and/or stop breastfeeding are documented in accordance with the medical institution's requirements. If the condition of the mother and baby is good, they will be released from the hospital, but no earlier than 48 hours after delivery in order to assess the newborn's adjustment and health and perform initial routine screenings and procedures. Read the detailed instructions HERE
  • Instructions and a monitoring sheet will be prepared in order to monitor newborns at home.

What is the practice regarding mothers with coronavirus and their newborn babies elsewhere in the world?

  • Current information and experience indicate that pregnant women experience the disease the same as other young people, i.e. mostly with mild symptoms. If you fall ill, it is important to stay at home so as not to spread it further. If a hospital visit cannot be avoided, notify the hospital in advance.

What measures is the hospital taking to protect the health of mothers and babies?

  • Pregnant women and women giving birth will receive assistance according to crisis instructions agreed by professional associations. 

 

For newborns

Are paediatric appointments going ahead?

  • You may respect scheduled examination appointments and come in with your child if they have not been cancelled.

How to register a child’s birth during the emergency situation?

  • To register the birth of a child, visit www.rahvastikuregister.ee - Family - Registration of birth
  • The birth must be registered no later than within one month after birth. Parents must first agree on the given and family name of the child and whether custody belongs to both or one of the parents.
  • If the parents are married, the data of the other parent are automatically transferred to the application upon registration of the birth of a child and the child will be given the same family name as their parents. Parents with different family names must agree which family name will be given to the child.
  • The online service for the registration of a birth can be used if the child was born in an Estonian maternity hospital and has been granted a personal identification code.

Can the birth also be registered electronically by unmarried parents?

  • If the parents are not married to each other and the mother is the first to fill out the application for the registration of the birth of a child electronically, she must manually add the data of the man who wishes to acknowledge paternity to the application.
  • If the father is the first to fill out the application, the data of the mother are automatically added to the application after entry of the child’s personal identification code.

The birth cannot be registered electronically if:

  • the child was born in a foreign country;
  • the father of the child is not the husband of the mother;
  • married parents wish to submit an application to state that the married husband is not the father of the child;
  • the parent is a minor;
  • the parent has restricted active legal capacity.

 

For pregnant women

I am pregnant. Is it reasonable for me to come in to register my pregnancy in the current situation?

  • We register pregnant women as of week 10 of the pregnancy. In order to protect the health of mothers and babies, the optimal time to register with us is after week 10 of the pregnancy. You can make an appointment by calling the general registration number 666 1900.
  • If you experience abdominal pain or bleeding, you should turn to our emergency department. You can seek advice and help from the midwife hotline on 5397 7077, where necessary.

Are appointments with midwives going ahead?

  • Midwives will contact all pregnant women on an ongoing basis to provide information on whether appointments are going ahead or being cancelled.
  • If you have a viral disease or a cold, do not respect any appointments you have at the Maternity Counselling Centre! Consult your midwife if necessary. Come alone if you have an appointment with the midwife and for ultrasound examinations; it is not permitted to bring partners or children.

Should I honour my appointment to register my pregnancy if I have received a text message asking me not to come?

  • Midwives will contact all patients on an ongoing basis to specify whether appointments will go ahead as planned or not.

I am pregnant and I have a lot of questions. Where can I find information?

  • The midwives' hotline is open and available from 08:00-16:00 Monday-Friday. You can contact us by calling 5397 7077. Our midwives offer advice to all pregnant women registered with East-Tallinn Central Hospital.

What kinds of appointments with midwives and doctors are going ahead for pregnant women?

  • We continue monitoring pregnant women during the state of emergency and have changed our general monitoring plan only to ensure that it is safe for everyone in the current situation and reduces direct contact between people.
  • During the monitoring of a pregnancy, appointments with the midwife or gynaecologist take place on weeks 10-12, 20-21, 28-30 and 38-40 of the pregnancy to perform essential examinations to assess the condition of the mother and foetus.
  • Other appointments have been replaced with remote appointments and generally take place over the phone with other electronic channels used where necessary.
  • Please note that pregnant women are monitored by midwives or gynaecologists who will decide on the monitoring method on the basis of each expectant mother's condition.

What kinds of tests are made during the state of emergency in the first trimester of a pregnancy?

  • Instead of the first trimester screening, we offer pregnant women a non-invasive prenatal DNA test (NIPTIFY) performed in Estonia.
  • During the state of emergency, the NIPTIFY tests are paid for by the Health Insurance Fund.
  • The sample for the NIPTIFY test must be provided on week 11-12 of the pregnancy.

How can I get a NIPTIFY test?

  • You will be referred to the NIPTIFY test by your doctor or midwife, who will issue a respective digital referral.
  • The hospital will call the pregnant woman and invite them to do the test. Pregnant women do not have to make the call themselves.

How does NIPTIFY work?

  • You can provide a sample for the NIPTIFY test in the blood sample room of the Ravi unit 8:00-13:00 Monday-Thursday. Note:  The sample cannot be given on Maundy Thursday, 9 April 2020.

How can I learn the results of my NIPTIFY test?

  • The waiting period for the NIPTIFY test results is 4-6 weeks.
  • You will be informed of your NIPTIFY test results by your midwife or doctor.

Will the NIPTIFY test be performed for everyone?

  • The NIPTIFY test will not be prescribed for pregnant women who have undergone first-trimester screening with a negative result.

Will examinations of pregnant women continue at the women's clinic? How can I give samples?

  • Scheduled ultrasound examinations are proceeding as of now. You may respect scheduled examination appointments if they have not been cancelled. It is not permitted to bring partners or children.
  • Urine samples can be delivered without entering the hospital. Urine samples can be left on the desk by the entry to the Maternity Counselling Centre in block B between the hours of 07:30 and 12:00 a.m.
  • Blood samples are taken in the usual places.
    • The blood sample collection room of the Ravi unit  is open on business days 7:30-15:00.
    • The blood sample collection room of the Magdaleena unit is open on business days 7:30-15:00.
    • The blood sample collection room of the Tõnismäe unit is open on business days 8:30-13:00.

 

Fertility treatment

Are the services offered by the Centre for Infertility Treatment of the East-Tallinn Central Hospital suspended due to the state of emergency?

  • New infertility treatment cycles are not launched until the end of the state of emergency. Patients will be informed of this.
  • We continue performing procedures for patients who are in the middle of their in vitro fertilisation (IVF) preparations. Patients who have contracted a viral disease or cold must not come to appointments!
  • We provide information on matters pertaining to infertility treatment, incl. in relation to the postponement of scheduled infertility treatments and further instructions, by phone on 5919 8395 8:00-16:00 Monday-Friday.

 

General procedural matters in the Women's Clinic

Can I get an abortion during the state of emergency? Have surgical abortions been suspended?

  • Women can abort their pregnancy of their own volition during the state of emergency.
  • We recommend that women use medical abortion as the first choice because
    • the risk of possible complications (e.g. infections, uterine damage) is greater in the case of surgical abortions.
    • Due to the national state of emergency, there is a need to prevent healthy women from making contact with the hospital.
  • The application form for medical abortion can be found HERE.
  • We continue to perform surgical abortions, where necessary.
  • We offer telephone counselling. Additional information on this is provided individually.

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