Modern Medicine: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Expansion - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Expansion

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Panama City, Fla. -

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center opened a brand new and expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, last October.  This Spring that NICU will be a level 3, meaning they can care for babies under 1,000 grams.

Director of Children's Services Mindy Young says the NICU is equipped with high tech equipment for the best possible care.  One useful piece of equipment is the Giraffe Isolette.

"As the baby gets hot, it'll cool off.  As the baby gets cold, it will warm up, so it sort of simulates that womb," explains Young.

Young says families will no longer have to travel for care, even if the baby is born very premature.

According to Young, "It's a lot more intensive of a level of service that traditionally we've not been able to provide, and they've had to go to other areas...Pensacola, Gainesville, out of their communities, so we're really excited to get to keep them here."

A color coded sound system will also be installed this Spring.  If the system turns red, that's a signal that the noise level is too high.  This is helpful to premature babies, who can't tolerate noise and sound very well.

Young says a perinatologist will also be starting soon.  This is a doctor who can monitor and care for women experiencing high risk pregnancies.