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SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital is celebrating the opening of the Utah Fetal Center.
Intermountain Healthcare reports that the fetal center will be a state-of-the-art fetal care center at Primary Children's. The intent is to care for mothers with complex pregnancies. This care may even include surgical intervention in utero.
"We have a multidisciplinary team with doctors for both the mother and baby who have expertise in fetal medicine and surgery, and who work together to compassionately care for these complicated patients," said Stephen Fenton, MD, a pediatric surgeon with University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, and director of the Utah Fetal Center.
The Fetal Center will provide care to mothers whose child has been diagnosed with birth defects and provide specialized care before and after birth of the child.
Mothers will be evaluated by a maternal-fetal medicine doctor (high-risk obstetrics), multiple pediatric subspecialists, and other personnel that will help provide care to the mother and child.
Maternity care close to home
The Fetal Center will let Utah families remain close to home while receiving specialized care.
Intermountain tells the story of one woman, Cali Budge from Lehi, who discovered a congenital pulmonary airway malformation in her unborn baby. This is a serious health condition that could require intervention before delivery. Originally, Budge would have to travel to Philadelphia to receive care but ended up being treated nearby at the Fetal Center.
"During my consultation, I spoke with the surgeon, the high-risk obstetrician, neonatologist, social worker, and others from the team that would care for me and my baby. I didn't have to make any calls or travel around to multiple medical offices — it was all in one place," said Budge.
"As an expecting mother already going through the stress of this situation, it was comforting to have that," she added.
Cali Budge's daughter, Noelle, was delivered on time without complications. After birth, she received surgery to remove her lung abnormality and is now a healthy 16-month-old baby.
The Utah Fetal Center is part of Intermountain Healthcare's plan to create the nation's model health care system for children.