Neonatal Intensive Care Units

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Baptist Medical Center South is one of five regional units in the state. The staff cares for babies in distress from approximately 20 counties in southeast Alabama. With an average daily census of 29, the number of babies born here or born elsewhere and brought here for care is usually equal for the year.

Baptist South expanded its unit in November 1998. Bed capacity increased from 26 beds to 40 beds. The NICU also has two "rooming-in" rooms, where mothers can stay with their infants prior to discharge. These two rooms enable mothers to receive special training and assistance in the care of their infants from the nursing staff.

The NICU at Baptist Medical Center East specializes in the use of developmental care of the neonate. Research shows that a developmental care program such as the one at Baptist East has many positive benefits for the babies but the main proof is in the wonderful feedback received from the families of these babies. Two of the greatest benefits noted are parent-infant bonding and decreased days of stays.

Baptist East's NICU census continues to break records each month. The NICU staff at both hospitals continue to work together to provide the patients with the very best quality of care.

Both units have state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and treatment of critically ill newborns. These newborns range from 23-42 weeks gestation and they may weigh anywhere from one pound to over ten pounds. Care for these infants is provide by a team of skilled, dedicated neonatologists and nurses.

The NICU has a special vehicle, Angel One, to transport critically ill newborns. A collaboration between Baptist Health and CARE Ambulance, Angel One is based at Baptist South and provides support to regional hospitals that lack the resources to care for critically ill newborns. There is a designated team of specially trained nurses that provide coverage, along with respiratory therapists and other emergency technicians, for transport 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The state-of-the-art equipment on board Angel One allows much-needed care to be provided in a more timely manner and also allows Baptist Health to improve neonatal care outside the city limits of Montgomery.

Angel One features an on-board electrical generator and redundant power systems, which allows the transport to function as a self-contained neonatal intensive care unit. If climate or road conditions are unsafe, it can pull off the road and continue to provide care for up to 24 hours. Angel One can also be converted to transport a maternal patient while still carrying an isolette to care for a premature or ill infant.