LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2012) — Expansion and renovation of the Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and nursery is the latest upgrade to maternity services at Baptist Hospital East.
The unit was dedicated in a brief ceremony today. Speakers included Baptist East President David Gray, Neonatologist Seth Schultz, MD, and Steve Trager of The Trager Family Foundation. The Trager Family Foundation has generously donated funding for nursery services and renovations.
The NICU now has eight all-private rooms, including space for twins or triplets to stay together, and a special isolation room. This doubles the number of available monitored beds for babies who need extra attention after they are born. More than 1,500 square feet was added to the nursery by expanding the space onto the hospital’s third-floor roof. Construction and new equipment cost was about $900,000.
The single family private rooms follow an emerging national trend in NICU design — to provide new parents with a comfortable and private place to bond with their babies and to discuss care plans with staff.
The old-style open bay NICU allowed nurses to care for several babies at the same time – but also added to the stress for parents unaccustomed to monitoring systems and beeping alarms.
The new private rooms provide a quieter place for the babies to rest and grow. Parents can be more involved in their baby’s care – even staying overnight. With fewer interruptions to baby’s sleep, the environment is more conducive to improved development.
Baptist East’s NICU is for babies born prematurely, or who need help adjusting to their new environment.