News

August 24, 2006

Maury Regional to Offer Neonatal Intensive Care Services

Maury Regional Hospital will open a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) through an agreement with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in September, according to Jamie Davis, Chief Nursing Officer at Maury Regional Hospital.

The new eight-bed neonatal intensive care service will be located in the Nursery area on the fourth floor of the hospital and will be staffed with two physicians specializing in neonatology, four neonatal nurse practitioners, and 15 registered nurses specially trained to provide a higher level of newborn care.  In addition, respiratory therapists have received extensive training in treating neonatal patients and will be present at all high risk and C-section deliveries.

“This new level of care for newborns and their parents is an important service for the region that we serve. As a mother myself, I’m comforted by the fact that we have the physicians and staff with the education and skill level to care for premature and sick newborn babies,” said Davis.

New state-of-the-art equipment on the unit includes a cardiac monitoring system, new ventilators, intensive care isolettes, and electronic patient documentation for physicians.

According to Davis, Maury Regional Hospital delivers approximately 1,600 babies each year. With the addition of neonatal intensive care services, that number is expected to increase.

“Premature babies typically spend several weeks in the nursery. By having these services close to home, many high risk mothers who elect to deliver at a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit and premature infants who require specialized neonatal care will now be able to stay right here at Maury Regional Hospital.  Not only will this be a benefit for the babies, but also for parents and families who stay with the baby daily during the bonding process.”          

Judy Aschner, MD, Director of the Division of Neonatology at Vanderbilt notes, “We are very excited about our new partnership with Maury Regional Hospital and the opening of a Vanderbilt Regional Affiliate Nursery in Columbia, TN.  Many of our patients in the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit come from Columbia and the surrounding areas south of Nashville.  This joint program will allow many of these babies to be cared for by Vanderbilt neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners closer to home at Maury Regional Hospital.  Getting babies closer to their families is a very important part of their recovery and a tremendous help to families who often feel like they need to be in several places at once when they have a premature or sick baby in the nursery.  It is a win-win for everyone when we can provide specialized and expert care for sick children in their home communities.”

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