Caring for Our Tiniest Patients
According to the Center for Diseases Control, one in every eight babies in the United States is born prematurely, before 37 weeks. In 2009, 35 percent of infant deaths were related to prematurity. Premature birth is a leading cause of long term health and neurologic disabilities. It is often difficult to predict which mother is likely to delivery early. In fact, the precipitating cause of early labor in nearly half of preterm births is unknown.
Choosing where to celebrate a child’s birth is one of the most important decisions expectant parents make during pregnancy. A couple should consider a facility that is well staffed by experienced professionals who are ready to respond to different birth scenarios, most especially the unexpected.
Portneuf Medical Center has celebrated the birth of 80,000 babies since the early 50s. Its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is staffed with board-certified neonatologists, who are pediatricians who have gone through additional years of training. These subspecialists care for both well and very critically ill newborns. These physicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Portneuf NICU is also staffed with neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, dieticians, occupational, physical and speech therapists, as well as a social worker. The interdisciplinary team approach to care works to the benefit of our tiniest patients.
The NICU is a modern, state of the art facility. Our staff is dedicated to a family-centered care approach to nurturing and healing. Parents are encouraged to be part of the care team.
Our neonatal team is very much involved in outreach activities which help our referring healthcare providers and institutions. A neonatal Life Flight transport team is available to transfer babies to our unit who require a higher level of care. Our facility provides a learning environment for medical, nursing, dietetic, pharmacy students, as well as other healthcare disciplines. A commitment to sharing knowledge with upcoming professionals is part of Portneuf NICU’s mission.
If you are expecting, expect the best. We encourage families to plan ahead and consider the best birth place for mom and baby.
To find an Obstetrician, Neonatologist, Pediatrician, Family Practice Physician or any other physician, call Portneuf Medical Center’s physician referral toll-free line at 1-877-721-6673.
Dr. Elizabeth O’Donnell is a board-certified Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine physician. She obtained her medical degree from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency and neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.