Updated NICU opens in Ohio

May 5, 2009

A Dayton, Ohio-based hospital opened the doors to its new $19 million neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on May 2.

A Dayton, Ohio-based hospital opened the doors to its new $19 million neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on May 2.

Miami Valley Hospital's 51,000 square-foot Level III NICU, positioned on two floors of the hospital's Berry Women's Health Pavilion, more than doubles the size of the previous space. Care is family-oriented in each of its 60 private rooms. Previously babies were grouped together in an open setting.

New comfort-centric features in the unit include sound-absorbent ceilings and floor tiles, dimming lighting systems and sliding glass doors. Parents will also have the option of staying overnight in the private rooms with their babies.

Beyond the great attention to comfort, the NICU is replete with the latest in technology, including hands-free communication for hospital staff, which is linked to the babies' heart monitors and ventilators. The devices enable nurses to be aware of the babies' status always and allows immediate interaction with staff members, if necessary.

Additional advances include climate-controlled incubators and mattresses that rotate to keep babies from being moved. Special rockers/recliners, called Kangaroo chairs, are included in each of the rooms so that relatives can hold babies closely.

Also, the nursery was designed to be just down the hall from labor and delivery so mothers and babies can be close at all times.