NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A whimsical design opens a new chapter of the neonatal intensive care unit at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.
The NNICU no longer just a section of the 4th floor. It now covers the entire 10th and 11th floors.
Light, airy private rooms are now provided for every baby born too soon.
Chief of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Dr. Mark Mercurio explained, “In the room we have a scrub station to scrub in. We have an isolette where the baby will be, a station for the nurse to work, and we have a nice place to sit down here which folds up easily and becomes a nice bed for someone to stay overnight.”
It’s a dramatic upgrade from the current cramped space with tiny miracles next to each other due to a steady increase of admissions.
Dr. Mercurio says, “It’s certainly pretty unusual for families to have this much space for each patient and each family, and that improves not just the family’s experience but it improves the quality of care we can deliver to these kids because we have room to do the work we need to do.”Related Content: CT Dept. of Public Health adds free or low-cost flu shot clinics
More space allows for a shift to family-centered care.
Dr. Matthew Bizzarro, NNICU Medical Director stated, “And what that means is actually having the parents become active participants in the care of their children and that means having space for them to actually be at the bedside, to stay overnight and to not be separated from their infants.”
The state of the art technology is also improving the already high-level treatment for premature babies who come here from throughout Connecticut and beyond.
“We tend to see babies that are actually sicker and having more sophisticated and serious problems that we require them staying in the hospital for longer periods of time,” said Dr. Bizzarro.
Among the significant additions is a couplet care room, making YNHH one of only two hospitals in the country that has one.
This is where moms and infants with less severe complications can stay together.
“It allows both of them to actually heal in the postpartum period, bond and facilitate the transition to home,” says Dr. Bizzarro.
Plus a sophisticated procedure room has been added just steps away from those who need it.
“The surgical team will be able to work right in here,” said Dr. Mercurio, “We will be doing minor procedures and sometimes major procedures on babies too fragile to be moved off the floor.”
It’s an advanced blueprint that serves as a national model for the most critical and vulnerable of patients.
The new NNICU also has a 24/7 pharmacy, and next year will offer a neonatal brain MRI for it’s tiny population.