November 20 — PROVO — Sick and premature babies as well as moms who need to be hospitalized before delivering now have more room to receive care thanks to a newly completed expansion project at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert will join hospital leaders and employees for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at 12:30 p.m. Public tours of the expanded Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the new antepartum rooms will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. and again from 6:30-7:30 p.m. A media tour of both areas will take place at 9:30 a.m. beginning in the Main Lobby of the hospital.
Utah Valley Regional can now provide specialized care for 55 premature or sick babies. Because of the growing number of families in Utah County, the NICU has overflowed its prior capacity of 39 patients on multiple occasions in recent years.
While expansion was always the intent of the project, new technology has been added that will help parents stay connected to their infant when they’re away from the hospital and assist physicians in other facilities who need to transfer a baby to the NICU.
“When we started planning, it was clear we also needed to update the technology in our nursery. Families will now have a more private space to be with their baby and be able to check in on their little one at any time,” said Manager Jerold Wilcox, RN, adding his unit is now the largest NICU in the state.
Nine new antepartum (ante=before, partum=delivery) rooms have also been added to care for mothers with high-risk pregnancies or those who are experiencing complications prior to their due date. Complications could include placenta previa or abruption, ruptured membranes, preeclampsia or fetal anomalies.
“We want to help our moms have a pregnancy that is as safe as possible, with a healthy baby at the end,” said Judy Hunter, RN, manager of Labor and Delivery, adding each room comes with a comfortable bed, a television and DVD player, a Panda warmer for infant resuscitation and a beautiful view. The rooms are also fully capable of serving as pre-term delivery rooms if necessary, and even have call lights to the NICU.