System allows loved ones to virtually be with ICU babies
HMH installs NICView cameras with grant money
When Lillian Jane Peters made her way into the world at 29 weeks on April 21, her parents, Melissa and Brian, were shocked.
Melissa attributed her contractions to Braxton Hicks — contractions that occur before labor — and they weren’t prepared for a month-long stay at Hardin Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The Eastview couple has been traveling back and forth between home and the hospital as much as they can, but for the times they can’t be there with their first baby, a new technology allows them to be as close to their daughter as possible.
HMH recently received a $36,750 grant from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels to install a monitoring system called a NICView in each of the unit’s six beds.
The devices allow parents and family members to login to an online portal where they can view their baby in real time, except for when doctors or nurses are caring for the baby or doing procedures.
The Peters family was fortunate Lillian didn’t have any major health complications with being born so early — she’s the earliest-born baby HMH’s NICU has had since its September opening — but she still needs to stay in the unit at least four more weeks.
“I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I was having Braxton Hicks’ and the book I had said if you have more than four (contractions) in an hour, you need to contact your doctor,” Melissa said. “I was like four in an hour? I just had four in 20 minutes. We’ve got to go, something’s not right.”
Lillian was on a ventilator for 24 hours and oxygen for another few days, but aside from that, the 2-pound, 7-ounce baby was doing fine.
“She was already in position, she’d already rotated, she was just ready to come into the world,” Melissa said.
For Melissa and Brian and their families, the NICView system has made what usually is a busy and overwhelming time a little simpler.
Because Lillian is in the NICU, the visitors list needed to be cut to five people, but as long as each family member has login details for the NICView portal, they can see the baby.
“It’s more for the family that gets to look at her because not everybody can be in here, so all the friends and family that want to look at her, too, can do that,” Brian said.
Melissa said her dad, who is a pig farmer in Indiana, wasn’t able to leave his work to visit, but he logs into the portal every night to see Lillian.
“I was just talking to him this morning and he said he thinks he has more baby pictures than most grandparents because he can take pictures with (the system),” Melissa said.
One NICView monitor also will be used for the delivery room so fathers or other family members who can’t be present can virtually be in the moment.