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Mountain View Hospital NICU advances, upgrades care

Mountain View Hospital's Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a highly trained team caring for babies born as early as 32 weeks.

December 07, 2022
Three Mountain View NICU staff pose next to a giraffe bed.
Mountain View Hospital NICU Staff.

One in 10 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely, according to the CDC; and premature babies need extra, expert care. That’s why Mountain View Hospital recently renovated and upgraded their nursery to a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“This NICU will support our growing community,” said Dr. Garron Miller, Neonatal Hospitalist at Mountain View Hospital. “With our NICU in place, mothers can deliver at Mountain View with confidence that if their newborn needs extra care, we can take care of them.” 

What does it mean to be a Level II NICU?

Mountain View Hospital can care for infants born as early as 32 weeks. Within the unit, pediatrician and neonatal nurse practitioners provide 24/7 coverage under the guidance of a neonatologist.

Since breathing difficulties are one of the most common health issues in premature babies, as a Level II NICU, Mountain View stands equipped to offer respiratory support with brand new ventilators, CPAP machines and high-flow nasal cannulas. Plus, the specially trained staff can administer surfactant, a natural lubricant produced in lungs that pre-term babies lack. Delivered through intubation, the medication improves elasticity and expansion of the lungs, so they don’t collapse.

Also, Mountain View NICU now has access to on-site pediatric cardiology. With EKGs and echocardiograms available for new infants, many babies can avoid being transferred to other facilities — keeping mom and baby together.

NICU care: Keeping mom and baby in the same hospital

Having a Level II NICU at Mountain View Hospital often prevents mothers and their new babies from being separated.

“If Mom is too sick or can’t leave our hospital yet, but Baby needs more acute care at a different facility, then that important mother/baby bonding is delayed. Oftentimes, the dad must drive between the two hospitals, and the situation puts extra stress on the family. We want to do everything possible to keep Mom and Baby together — and this NICU is one more way to do that for families in our community,” Dr. Miller said.

Once an infant’s health stabilizes in the NICU, new central monitors promote a smooth transition between round-the-clock healthcare and going home. The central monitors allow the nearly graduated NICU infants to room with their parents at the hospital while being monitored remotely by NICU staff. That way, parents receive hands-on opportunities to learn how to care for their infant who may still require oxygen or who has other needs.

Mountain View NICU: An advanced team dedicated to improving care

Certifying as a Level II NICU required a team effort. For the past two years, Mountain View nurses, respiratory therapists and physicians collaborated closely with Timpanogos Regional Hospital’s NICU and Pediatrix Neonatology of the Mountain States, ensuring proper training and staffing.

“I’m really proud of our nurses and respiratory therapists; they have grown so much in skill and confidence. They’ve always been willing, and now they’ve seized the opportunity. I’m also thankful for Pediatrix and Timpanogos for their collaboration and making this possible,” Dr. Miller said.

Already, mothers and babies have experienced the benefits of having the NICU at Mountain View. Within the past few months several babies have received advanced care within the NICU.

Also, one baby was recently born without a heart rate during an emergency C-section. Because the specialized team was in place, the medical experts quickly performed CPR and within 8 minutes the staff intubated the baby and administered life-saving medication.

“No one likes these events to happen, but when you’re more prepared, you can handle and help,” Dr. Miller said. “And when you save a baby’s life, oh the feeling is so great!”

December 07, 2022
MountainView Hospital, Mountain View Hospital

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