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Construction Under Way for Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit January 12, 2016

Construction is under way for CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System’s leading, level III Neonatal Intensive Care. A media “demolition day” was held to celebrate, commemorate and reveal the beginning of a cutting-edge transformation of the unit, its technology, resources and programs.

CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System is committed to continue advancing technology, resources, and existing and future programs that will help educate and serve community members with newborns so families can live well.

“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,” CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health Systems CEO Paul Trevino said. “Demo Day celebrates our commitment to advancement in NICU technology, services and programs and allows us to give media a sneak peek to share with our community and excite people about what’s to come in the new year.”

After demolition is completed, the forthcoming state-of-the-art technology and services in the NICU will include, but are not limited to, three new private rooms; Giraffe Omnibeds; 3100A high frequency oscillatory ventilator by CareFusion; RetCam; specialized nutrition offerings; ancillary services; and family centered care. Additionally, the renovated unit will boast specialized lighting and noise reduction techniques in the ceilings and flooring that will assist in protecting the critical infant’s developing brain.

As part of the unit’s renovation and transformation, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth 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 and / or breastfeed at the bedside.

The unit offers patients Giraffe Omnibeds, which boast a full-featured incubator and a radiant warmer in one. With the touch of a button, the OmniBed converts from a full-featured incubator to a radiant warmer, which helps reduce stress to a baby and increase access for staff to care for that baby. The bed’s patented Baby Susan rotating mattress also minimizes unnecessary baby stimulation; it rotates 360° and can slide out so you can easily position patients for all types of procedures without disturbing them.

Also, the NICU will utilize 3100A high frequency oscillatory ventilators, which remains the only high-frequency ventilator that is FDA approved to be sold for early intervention in the treatment of neonates in respiratory failure. The 3100A high-frequency oscillatory ventilator (HFOV) can decrease the risk lung damage by conventional ventilation by maintaining a constant distending pressure and normalizing the end expiratory lung volume, keeping preterm and critically ill newborns even more stable.

Further, the NICU will have RetCam, which provides Pediatric Eye Imaging for the monitoring and diagnosis of Retinopathy of Premautrity. Retinopathy of Prematurity is a disorder of the developing retina of low birth weight preterm infants that potentially leads to blindness in a small but significant percentage of those infants. The RetCam was purchased by Children’s Miracle Network and will serve to best prevents newborns from potential loss of eyesight during their time in recovery.

In addition to the forthcoming advanced technologies, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth remains the first and only NICU in the region to offer human donor breast milk to the most vulnerable population of preterm and low birth weight infants in the system’s care. Alternatively, if formula is needed or donor milk is unavailable, specialized total parental nutrition formula is available to newborns upon admission to ensure the best start of growth and nutrition for very low birth weight infants.

CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth’s ancillary services will continue to provide a 24/7 NICU dedicated Respiratory Therapist; radiology and ultrasound services at the bedside within minutes; emergent echocardiography with cardiologist interpretation and exam with an hour; and leading speech language pathology services all on site.

Lastly, the NICU will continue to lead with family-centered care, as the system strongly believes family involvement is integral to the care of newborns. In fact, the unit is celebrating its 1-year anniversary of a family-centered visitation model, allowing parents, family members and friends extended presence during a newborns stay in the CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth NICU.

As evident in the plentiful new technological advances, services and programs soon to be revealed, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth continuously seeks out industry advancements to lead the way to better health, better healthcare and lower costs for all members of the Southeast Texas community.