Bringing Families Closer Together
Whether it’s a premature birth or difficult medical condition that requires special care, there are many reasons why a newborn may be placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Regardless of the cause, it’s a physically and emotionally draining experience for the family that may stretch on for weeks and even months.
In August, Karae Coursey of Germantown and her family found themselves in this very situation after the birth of her triplets – Bailey, Beau and Brook – at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health. While the babies were healthy, they were premature and needed to stay in the NICU until they were able to breathe, suck and swallow on their own.
When Coursey first discovered her newborns would likely spend time in the NICU, she was understandably upset. “I really wanted to deliver naturally like I had with my son,” she said. “I cried, but understood why they would be delivered early and would need to spend time in the NICU.”
Coursey said the doctors and nurses at Abington helped ease a lot of her worries by answering all of her questions and providing a tour of the NICU before her delivery. And after her babies were born, Abington’s new NICVIEW web camera system helped to bring her family closer together.
How NICVIEW Helped
Through a generous donation, the 34 beds in Abington Hospital’s NICU are equipped with NICVIEW web cameras. This technology allows a family to view its newborn child in the NICU through an online portal, 24-hours per day. Access is secure and parents receive personal login credentials, which they can share with relatives and friends anywhere in the world.
“This technology has completely transformed the NICU experience for the hundreds of families we serve in the Andrew Tesauro Special Care Nursery each year,” said Kathryn Ziegler, DO, Division of Neonatology, Abington Hospital. “From tears of happiness to heartfelt expressions of gratitude, the results have been nothing short of amazing.”
For the Courseys, NICVIEW was a blessing in a variety of ways. Their son, who was under five-years-old at the time, was too young to visit the NICU to meet his new sisters. The NICVIEW camera allowed him to start the bonding experience with them that he was not able to get in person. Family members from out-of-town used the NICVIEW cameras in much the same way to meet the triplets for the first time.
NICVIEW also helped Karae as she was recovering from her delivery. “It was tough not be able to see my babies when I needed to rest after my C-section,” she said. “When I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to see if they were OK, the NICVIEW cameras helped ease that angst.”
In addition, the Coursey triplets were not all ready to leave the NICU and return home at the same time. This made traveling back and forth to the hospital to visit the babies who remained in the NICU very difficult. “It was the coolest feature,” said Coursey. “The NICVIEW cameras were really helpful during that time.”
Coursey credits all of the Abington doctors, nurses and staff – along with the NICVIEW web camera system – for turning a difficult situation into a very positive experience for her family and healthy newborn triplets.