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NICU technology

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I-STAT I-STAT
SimNew B SimNew B
Respiratory Therapist Nick Goldberg works with the SimNew B Respiratory Therapist Nick Goldberg works with the SimNew B
Registered Nurse Jodi Meronk works with the SimNew B Registered Nurse Jodi Meronk works with the SimNew B

by Pam Warnke

MARSHFIELD (WAOW)-- Part of staff training includes time with the SimNewB. 

The neonatal simulator is modeled after a 7 pound infant girl.

She has an audible heartbeat, breath sounds and a palpable umbilical cord.

She moves her arms and legs, even turns blue.

All NICU, OB and supplemental staffing RN's go through mock scenarios using the SimNewB.

It's new medical devices and developments that are an instrumental part of training up and treating.

The SimNewB is just one of the most recent.

The evolution of technology has been happening since the unit opened four decades ago.

"The primitive isoletes we started out with were simply a warmbox.  They didn't have the double wall.  That's all they were.  Same with the ventilators.  The ventilators were all geared to adults, really.  And, we didn't have walled in oxygen so we'd have all these cords and tubes across the nursery," said Registered Nurse Judy Mauritz.

From ventilators to isoletes, periphreal ivs and ultrasound, technological advancement has aided staff in the prediction of what kinds of babies will be born and expanded the kind of problems they can treat.

One of the newer pieces, the ISTAT, cuts out waiting for lab results and gets right to whether a baby needs respiratory assistance, like a ventilator.

"ISTAT is a piece of equipment that we can put some blood sampling in and it will tell us the results on the spot within probably a minute or two.  And, it's very portable.  We take it out on transport with us and it quite amazes the outlying hospitals," said Mauritz.

More advancements will certainly come with time.

Dr. Jim Opitz said, "We're always looking at new technology, new medicine, new procedures."

An evolution of care.  An evolution of capability. 

Advancements that may one day help take the pain away for a baby, better support how they breathe, even eat when they don't have the strength.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke

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