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Sam Penrod

Utah Valley Hospital expands newborn ICU

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Nov. 22, 2013 at 7:51 p.m.


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PROVO — Utah Valley Hospital has expanded its newborn ICU with technology to help parents feel close to their babies, even when they're at home.

Shelley Williams couldn't be happier for the expansion since it's where she and her daughter spent the past 108 days.

"Eloise, she was born in August and without a complete esophagus and they will be able to fix it but she has to grow for several months and she's a cute baby," Williams said.

Jerold Wilcox is the nurse manager of the unit and puts a focus on parent involvement in their baby's care and parents get more time alone with their baby, as vital signs are observed by nurses separate from the family.

"Our NICU has a theme here, it's NICU is home," Wilcox said."We have central monitoring so we can monitor any baby we want from several different locations throughout the NICU. The NICU will also have a camera at each baby's bedside allowing parents to check on their little one, anytime of the day or night."

Technological advancements make monitoring the newborn even possible from home for parents.

"Parents can look on smart phones, iPads or computers; they can look at their baby anytime they want to," said Dr. Stephen Minton, medical director of newborn services. "They can actually put an iPad into bed and go to sleep with the baby's face right next to them live, so they can see what's taking place."

The upgrades add comfort for parents when they are away from their baby, and when they can be at the hospital, doctors and nurses will keep them involved in much of their baby's care - from changing diapers to taking their baby's temperature.

"Our goal is to include parents, they are going to be the caretakers of babies for the rest of their childhood and so we believe that they should be involved in here and know exactly what's going on," Wilcox said.

The new features help make the transition home easier for both baby and parents.

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Sam Penrod

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