Friday, October 26, 2012
A new special area for families opens next week at the Kaiser facility in Grantville. About 45,000 babies are born at the hospital every year and approximately 10 percent, or 450 babies, are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Since his birth two and a half months ago, Bradley Mancuso has spent almost his entire life in the neonatal care unit at Kaiser Permanente Hospital because of intestinal problems. His mom Lauren has done everything she can to make him feel at home, providing stuffed animals and handwritten messages from his baby sister.
This is where infants born premature and some with other physical problems stay for a few days and sometimes beyond their first birthday. But the large room doesn't provide mothers any privacy or quiet time with their little ones. That's why Kaiser is opening 30 new state of the art, private care rooms to enhance family bonding time.
"You gonna smile at daddy, you gonna smile at daddy, no?" Lauren said, holding tiny Bradley in her lap.
Her husband Brian Mancuso says the new private rooms are a much better experience.
"It's challenging when you're put in a situation like this and so every advantage you can have to not feel uncomfortable is all the better," Mancuso said. His wife Lauren says they even got to pick their own room, "overlooking the southside of Tierrasanta where we live."
The redesign cost $20 million and each room is furnished with a recliner chair and bed so parents can sleep in the room with their newborns. Most importantly, privacy is afforded when there are critical medical needs the physicians and families are managing.
"It's just an incredible place that I get to work and we all get to work as a team to take care of these kids and this is going to make it all that much better," said Dr. Matt Sebald, a neonatal specialist with Kaiser Permanente.
Nurse Linda Douglas has been working in the NICU for 28 years and says they'll have to adjust to more spacious quarters.
"We've probably tripled our space and so just by its very nature we'll have to work a little harder at staying in touch," she said. Kaiser also added eight special care rooms for expectant mothers to feel more comfortable. They come with private bath and showers and large windows looking outdoors.
As for young Bradley Mancuso, he has one more surgery around Thanksgiving and if all goes well could be home in time for his first Christmas.