CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth NICU renovation underway

CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth is currently undergoing a $2.5 million Neonatal Intensive Care Renovation project, made possible by the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation and CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health Systems. The hospital made the announcement at a media event Tuesday, Jan. 12. Vital Signs, a tri-annual magazine published by The Examiner Corporation originally reported the NICU renovation in its fall issue, which was released in November.

“Half of this money came from the community through our foundation,” CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System CEO Paul Trevino said. “It makes for a much stronger project when the community is behind you.”

The project has been approved and funded to move forward and includes three new private rooms, a Giraffe OmniBed, 3100A high frequency oscillatory ventilator by CareFusion, specialized lighting and noise reduction techniques in the ceilings and flooring and RetCam.

Stacie Jones, RNC and certified lactation consultant at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth, said that the renovation is projected to be complete by the end of 2016.

The Giraffe OmniBed is a combination system that brings together the features of a traditional incubator and a radiant warmer. The rotating mattress minimizes unnecessary baby stimulation. It can rotate 360 degrees and slide out so nurses can easily position patients for all types of procedures without disturbing them. Large, drop down, removable doors and central-ized control screen placement provide quick and easy patient access from either side of the bed. The bed’s elevating base offers a broad adjustable range to ensure a comfortable working height for procedures or family interaction while sitting down.

Integrated scale allows quick and accurate assessment and trending of baby’s growth and development.

“The Giraffe Omnibed provides the optimal environment for preterm/sick infants to maintain temperature, gain weight, and protect them from stressors which lengthen NICU stay,” said Jones.

The high frequency oscillatory ventilator (HFOV) helps enhance patient care for critically injured neonatal and pediatric patients. Using lung protective tools, nurses and physicians can apply continuous distending pressure and superimpose minimal pressure and volume swings to inflate the lung, and avoid neonatal respiratory failure. The HFOV can decrease the risk of lung damage by conventional ventilation by maintaining a constant distending pressure and normalizing the expiratory lung volume.

“The use of high-frequency oscillatory ventilators has been shown to improve survival in very-low-birth weight infants suffering from severe respiratory distress syndrome,” Jones said.

Additionally, the renovated unit will boast specialized lighting and noise reduction techniques in the ceilings and floors that will assist in protecting the critical infant’s developing brain.

As part of the unit’s renovation and transformation, CHRISTUS will construct three private rooms and a “rooming in room” that will be offered to parents of long-term patients or parents that feel they need a night caring for their baby with the comfort of the NICU staff in the next room. Also, each bed space is larger than before and will offer privacy for parents wanting to do kangaroo care or breastfeed at the bedside.

The RetCam, which was purchased by Children’s Miracle Network for the hospital, provides pediatric eye imaging for the monitoring and diagnosis of retinopathy of premautrity. The RetCam captures structural elements to facilitate pediatric ophthalmology review and recommendations for follow-up. The screening is based on the infant’s post-menstrual age, and is done while the infant is still in-patient.

“The RetCam is the highest level of screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity, a potentially blinding disease affecting the retinas in premature infants,” Jones said. “Our goal is to provide the highest level of care right here in Beaumont, so our tiny patients and their families do not have to go to Houston to receive the best care.”

The NICU will also offer ancillary services such as a 24/7 NICU-dedicated respiratory therapist, radiology and ultrasound services at the bedside, echocardiography with cardiologist interpretation and exam, speech language pathology services, and translation services.

“CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth prides itself on leading neonatal intensive care unit services for families with newborns in the region to provide the highest level of care for preterm and critically ill babies as close to home as possible,” Trevino said, adding that he is expecting a grandchild soon and can sleep better at night knowing that CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth NICU staff is among the best in the area, and the renovation will only improve the services the Level III Neonatal Unit provides.

Story courtesy of The Examiner.

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