Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital is opening an expanded neonatal intensive care unit designed with feedback from families.
For decades, the hospital has been at the forefront of providing critical care for babies born prematurely or with medical complications.
When families arrive at the new NICU, photos and stories of children on the Wall of Hope are meant to give them inspiration through what can be a very difficult time.
“When you have a very premature baby with lots of medical problems, people get very concerned and dejected and think about what’s going to happen,” Chairman of Pediatrics Dr. Clifford Bogue said, “and we want them to see how great the outcomes can be.”
The top two floors of the children’s hospital have been transformed into a state of the art NICU with 68 patient rooms.
“A fundamental aspect of this new unit is it makes its far easier for parents to be with their child during the day, overnight, it’s a much nicer space for them,” said Dr. Mark Mercurio, the hospital’s Director of Newborn Services.
Eight of the rooms are designed for couplet care, allowing the mom to stay in the same room as her newborn child.
“We are going to be one of the first hospitals in the country and the first academic medical center to deliver this kind of care and we think it is really important for that early bonding experience,” Bogue said.
Another innovation is a specialized space for procedures.
“So that if a baby is really fragile and our surgeons don’t want move the baby bound into the operating room, they’ll have the option of performing even major procedures here on the unit,” Mercurio said.
Next year, the unit plans to introduce groundbreaking technology for neonatal brain MRIs. All of these medical advances are taking place at the hospital that opened the nation’s first NICU almost sixty years ago.
“It’s really a continuation of being really at the cutting edge,” Bogue said.
Newborn babies will begin receiving care at the new NICU next Tuesday.