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NICU Staff Keeps Tiny Babies Alive and Teach Parents How To Care For Them While In NICU

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MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) -We continue our series on miracles of tiny babies and their survival. We focus on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Intermountain Medical Center.


The team of nurses and staff keep these little babies alive in the NICU. A big part of the team are the parents who learn how to take care of their own preemies who are not ready to go home yet.

On Tuesday we introduced you to the Petersen triplets. They are getting stronger each day.  It was a smooth birth for the triplets born between 3 and 4 pounds. 

They still need 24-hour care in the NICU for two weeks. That’s a fairly short amount of time compared to some babies who spend far longer, sometimes several months.
 
Ruby Alexander has already been out of mother’s womb for 2 and a half months. The NICU is all tiny Ruby knows of the outside world.

Kristie Alexander, Mother, “Everybody said one day at a time, one day at a time, so that’s what I’ve done for 79 days.”

Dr. Liz O’Brien, IMC, “We have a full team approach and family centered approach. The family is the lead of the team.”

The nurse and staff teach parents how to take care of their fragile baby while in the NICU. The staff teaches Kristie how to bath her child while swaddled.
 
Baby Ruby, born just over a pound at birth, is now four times her birth weight.
 
Kristie from Kaysville, takes extra care, cleaning her daughter, scrubbing her head with a toothbrush.  
“I like giving her a bath. It feels like something normal you would do at home. At the NICU nothing seems normal when your baby is hooked up to wires.”

In another room, Molly Rogers from South Jordan bonds with her baby.

“It’s pretty awesome, they love it.”

Technology keeps them alive but there’s nothing like the human touch.  
Alice Adams, IMC RN, “they’ve done MRI’s while mothers are skin to skin. Their synapses are growing and developing neurologically faster.”

Born at nearly 30 weeks at 4 pounds, Little Henry has had many ups and downs.
In the middle of our interview, Little Henry’s heart rate drops and has trouble breathing. His coloring is off.
 
A nurse is always by the baby’s side for just such an emergency.
Nurse, “It’s part of an immature respiratory and nervous system.”

After some intervention, more oxygen, a back rub, he’s back.
 
Kristie Alexander, “each time we think we can take our kid home we realize why he’s in the NICU.”
 

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