ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Babies born too early are often hospitalized for weeks or months in specialized neonatal intensive care units or NICUs. Now, a cutting-edge system is helping the tiniest patients thrive in an environment- much like the one they just left.
Little Remi Jolliff came into the world at 24 weeks, and five days. Three-and- a- half months before she was due.
“She was coming out whether we were ready or not,” Jessica Jolliff, Remi’s mom, said.
Remi weighed just one pound, six ounces.
Dad Christopher Jolliff shared, “Just complete devastation.”
NICU nurse manager Michael O’Brien at AdventHealth has cared for hundreds of preemies over 25 years. AdventHealth in Orlando is now the first in the country to test an innovative system that in some ways simulates a mother’s womb. It’s a high-tech isolette, called Babyleo. These tiny babies have no fat at all to keep them warm.
O’Brien said, “There’s a little device that lays on the baby’s skin. It’s like a thermometer. A little sticker goes over it keeping it on the baby’s skin, and it goes into the isolette.”
That way a computer system constantly monitors the baby’s temperature, keeping him at 98.6 by automatically turning on and off warmers in the crib. The Babyleo also gently mists sterile water to adjust the humidity.
O’Brien said, “Remember the premature baby was floating in amniotic fluid inside the mom and the skin is not ready to be out in the dry, dry air.”
The Jolliffs take comfort knowing Remi is getting specialized care. It takes away some of the trauma from her early delivery.
“Think of it as they just couldn’t wait to meet you. That’s what we tell ourselves. Yep. She was just so excited to meet her mom and dad. She couldn’t wait,” said Jessica and Christopher Jolliff.
Before the Babyleo, NICU nurses would have to manually adjust warmers in the isolettes to ensure preemies stayed at normal body temperature. Little Remi Jolliff is scheduled to remain in the NICU until the beginning of February, when she was originally due.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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TOPIC: BABYLEO HELPS THE TINIEST PATIENTS
REPORT: MB #4529
BACKGROUND: A premature baby is one who is born too early, before 37 weeks. Premature babies may have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later. They also may have long-term health problems that can affect their whole lives. The earlier in pregnancy a baby is born, the more likely he is to have health problems. Some premature babies have to spend time in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Babies can most likely go home when they weigh at least four pounds, can keep warm on their own, without the help of an incubator, can breastfeed or bottle feed, can steadily gain weight, and can breathe on their own.
INCUBATOR: An incubator is a self-contained unit roughly the size of a standard crib equipped with a clear plastic dome. Because preemies lack body fat, they are less able to regulate body temperature. The incubator ensures the ideal environmental conditions by either allowing the temperature to be adjusted manually or providing auto-adjustments based on changes in the baby’s temperature. But this is not its only function an incubator serves. An incubator also protects the preemie from infection, allergens, or excessive noise or light levels that can cause harm. It can regulate air humidity to maintain the integrity of the skin and even be equipped with special lights to treat neonatal jaundice common in newborns.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Florida Hospital (soon to be AdventHealth) is the first in the United States to implement the Babyleo TN500 IncuWarmer beds from Draeger. The Babyleo has a variety of offerings to ensure newborns are healthy and in the arms of their parents as quickly as possible. Such offerings include thermoregulation during open, closed and transitional care, weaning mode to help automate weaning of patients outside of the incubator, lowered sound and light levels resembling the womb, height adjustments and knee pockets as well as “kangaroo mode” to support parent-baby bonding. Michael O’Brien, a NICU Nurse Manager at AdventHealth said, “the Babyleo system can serve both as a warmer and an isolette. Previously we had to by two pieces of equipment: a warmer bed and an isolette.”
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