NYMs Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Offers the Latest Advance in Care

Jan 25, 2006

NYMs Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Offers the Latest Advance in Care


Date: January 25, 2006

Title: NYMs Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Offers the Latest Advance in Care 

Health Topic: Obstetrics and Gynecology

Doctors and nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at New York Methodist Hospital have embraced "developmental care", the latest advance in caring for premature infants. "Studies have shown that premature babies do better if we create an environment as close as possible to that of the mother''s womb," explained Madhu Gudavalli, M.D., chief of neonatology at NYM. To that end, full intensity lights are used only when doing procedures, noise is kept to a minimum and the babies are placed in the fetal position by positioning soft blankets and bumpers around them.

The care the infants receive is both high-touch and high tech. The NICU at NYM is designated a Level III nursery, which means that it is equipped to handle the complex medical needs of premature and very ill newborns. It is staffed round-the-clock by board-certified neonatologist/pediatricians and specially trained registered nurses. Its equipment is state-of-the-art: new incubators not only enable doctors and nurses to see the babies more clearly but they also keep the babies warm more efficiently.

A multidisciplinary team cares for the patients - and their parents. In addition to doctors and nurses, team members include a lactation consultant trained specifically to work with mothers of babies in the NICU, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, social workers and nutritionists. "Parents may visit 24 hours a day, and we involve them in their child''s care as much as possible," said Theresa Uva, R.N., director of maternal-child health.

The NICU has never been busier. In fact, of the roughly 5,000 babies born at NYM in 2005, 700 were admitted to this unit in 2005. "We deliver a lot of high-risk patients here," explained Rebecca Shiffman, M.D., chief of obstetrics. "If we suspect a patient may deliver prematurely, we arrange for the patient to meet with the neonatologist prior to delivery to have any questions answered before the birth, this helps parents prepare for having a child in the NICU."

For information, or to find an obstetrician or high-risk specialist who is affiliated with New York Methodist Hospital, please call (718) 499-CARE.

Two nurses attending to a newborn baby
Ann Marie Fusaro, R.N., left, and Madhu Gudavalli, M.D., chief of neonatology, care for a baby in the calm and quiet Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at New York Methodist Hospital.