GENEVA – Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva opened a newly designed special care nursery to offer a modern, healing environment for infants who are low birth weight, premature or have complex medical conditions, officials said.
The 600-square-foot expansion is the second phase of an $8 million renovation and expansion of the hospital's New Life Maternity Center, partially funded by a $4 million Northwestern Memorial Foundation donation, said hospital spokeswoman Kimberly Waterman.
The expansion, which opened in September, includes room for visitor lockers, a bathroom and utility room, officials said.
Dawn Stanley, a nurse and clinical director of the special care nursery, said the designation as a Level II-E facility means it is capable of providing expert care for infants that weigh 2 or more pounds, premature infants at 30 or more weeks of gestation and infants that require extended medical support.
“The nursery allows the baby – if born with complications or is preterm – to stay with the mother in the community instead of being transferred away from their community,” Stanley said. “It allows us to provide a continuum of care in the same hospital.”
The special care nursery is a step down from a neonatal intensive care unit, Stanley said.
Still, neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago provide round-the-clock, on-site coverage, Stanley said.
In 2016, more than 1,300 babies were born at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, with 120 of them, or about 8 percent, needing to be in the special care nursery, Stanley said.
The special care nursery area had previously been an open-space nursery, Waterman said. It was converted to private patient bays and increased patient beds to seven from six, Waterman said.
The first phase of the hospital’s renovation was to relocate its lactation rooms to a more convenient space in an outpatient suite, the hospital stated in a news release.
The third phase of the hospital’s renovation plan will create a post-anesthesia care unit, and replace two current operating suites with two new state-of-the-art maternity operating rooms for C-sections or other pregnancy-related surgeries, Waterman said.
That phase is expected to be completed by 2018, Waterman said.
Phase four will follow to create new physician call rooms and update the hospital’s maternity labor suites, Waterman said.
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