March 31, 2020
While the world is learning more about Coronavirus (COVID-19) everyday, expectant couples wonder if it will affect the pregnancy and their unborn child. The fertility doctors in Manhattan at Sher Fertility Institute New York discuss the latest facts from the CDC about COVID-19 as it relates to pregnant women in our latest blog Coronavirus and Pregnancy.
March 24, 2020
A Message From Dr. Tortoriello, Medical Director
Dear Patients of Sher Fertility Institute New York,
I hope this message finds you all safe and well. Several of our patients have been asking about our response to the ever-evolving COVID-19 issue. I wanted to let you know that our patients’ safety and health are our utmost priorities.
We are offering telemedicine consultations for new and established patients so that you may resume evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. We will continue to offer urgent services for our patients with medical and obstetrical concerns related to fertility treatments. We are committed to resume full services as soon as it is prudent according to the guidance of our public health officials and in our best judgement. We are evaluating the situation daily and will post changes to this website as new information becomes available- click HERE for the latest information we have posted and click HERE for our FAQs relating to COVID-19.
From a sheerly practical standpoint:
- Governor Cuomo has requested all “non-essential” businesses to close for now.
- We have applied to be exempted from this mandate as we consider ourselves, as a medical facility that provides gynecologic, infertility, and early obstetric care, essential.
- I strongly suspect we will be granted “essential” status, but it is possible that we may be denied.
- In which case we will be forced to close resulting in the cessation of all currently active treatments.
From a medical standpoint, we are willing to finish all treatment cycles which have begun, as ASRM has suggested is feasible.
We will therefore provide excellent care to those still in the midst of their cycle.
I wish to emphasize however, that the risk of COVID-19 is never lower than when you are nestled in the safe confines of your home and minimize departures from your home.
Every time you leave your home to come to this facility, you are potentially risking a COVID-19 infection.
We are doing all we can to minimize this risk here at Sher Fertility Institute New York by greatly lowering patient traffic, spacing out appointments, frequent “decontamination” cleanings, and barring all who have symptoms.
But nonetheless we cannot guarantee your protection from COVID-19 any more than we could guarantee your protection from a cold or flu virus.
Therefore, my advice to those currently in the midst of their treatment is to be mindful of this fact, and make your decisions always weighing this risk.
Also be aware that even though COVID-19 infection in young healthy people is usually not very serious, please be aware that you can pass COVID-19 to friends or loved ones who might not be as robust as you are.
If you continue to work with us:
- Come to the office alone…don’t bring children, spouses, anyone with you who need not come
- Wear a mask if you have one…if you don’t then I recommend you order one off Amazon or the like. N95 masks are best but even the blue surgical masks are better than nothing.
- If you are symptomatic (fever/shortness of breath/cough/diarrhea) – call to inform us and do NOT come in. Go for COVID-19 testing. Your cycle may have to be cancelled.
- All who wish to continue must read and sign and return to me the attached COVID-19 waiver. If we do not get this signed waiver then we cannot continue with your cycle.
- Be aware that we are held captive to any new and more restrictive guidelines or COVID-19 conditions that may emerge.
I know this is scary and frustrating.
I feel the same way.
We here at Sher Fertility Institute New York are trying our best to balance your safety with both your passionate desire to conceive as well as your logical desire to not lose ground in a process that you have already begun.
Please bear with us as we try our best to get this imperfect process as perfect as we are able to do. As always, if you have any questions regarding your treatment plan and timeline, please reach out to discuss your individual situation with a member of your care team.
Drew Tortoriello, M.D.
March 23, 2020
We are offering telemedicine consultations for new and established patients so that you may resume evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
The health and well-being of our patients and staff is Sher Fertility Institute New York highest priority. The physician team is working diligently to stay informed on the emerging scientific developments and evolving guidance from our local and national leaders in public health regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pregnancy and COVID-19-what we know and don’t know:
Risk to mother: Because COVID-19 is so new, there is limited information available about the risks to the mother and fetus if contracted during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women are more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, and may be at risk for more severe illness. Initial published data are reassuring for the severity of illness for pregnant women with COVID-19, but these data are very limited.
Risk to fetus: There is even less information available about risks to the fetus when the virus is contracted during the first or second trimester. Data from other similar illnesses are reassuring, suggesting no increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects. However, with other viral illnesses (such as SARS), if the infection is severe, increased risks including miscarriage and preterm birth have been observed.
Things to consider:
- We intend to remain open and are committed to providing ongoing care with your safety in mind. Should you choose to postpone your treatment, please contact your care team at 646-792-7476.
- If you have a fever of 100.4 F or greater, especially if associated with respiratory symptoms, notify your care team and do not come into the clinic. It will be necessary to interrupt ongoing treatment if you may be infectious. This should be a consideration as you decide whether to postpone your fertility treatment.
- Strict personal hygiene (especially hand-washing) and avoiding potential exposures are the most important measures you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community.
What Sher Fertility Institute New York are doing:
Sher Fertility Institute New York are committed to help control the spread of COVID-19 by complying with guidance to maximize social distancing.
- We are continuing to provide service to all fertility patients; especially those who are in emergent need of fertility rescue programs due to a cancer diagnosis
- For patients who prefer not to come to an in-person visit, we will be offering phone or video conferencing appointments.
- If you would like to change an existing appointment to phone, please contact us at 646-792-7476.
- We have directed our financial counselors to shift primarily to phone and online communication.
- You have the option to wait in alternative spaces in the center to minimize crowding in the reception area. Our front desk staff will help to coordinate this for each individual. To help us with these efforts, we must ask that you continue to observe our policy that children are not to accompany you to the center.
- We have implemented additional measures for disinfecting common areas and have reinforced infection control procedures with all our staff.
- We understand this situation may add worry to an already stressful time. Our staff are available should you need any additional support as well as refer to our FAQ document.
As always, if you have any questions regarding your treatment plan and timeline, please reach out to discuss your individual situation with a member of your care team.
The Sher Fertility Institute New York Physicians and Staff