Neonatal ICU in Roseville family-friendly

Sutter’s newest addition makes privacy, comfort a priority
By: Staff report
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Alicia Gambone, a registered nurse in the Family Birth Center at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, knows what it’s like to have a newborn baby in a neonatal intensive care unit. In 2005, Gambone’s son, Giancarlo, was born at Sutter Roseville and was transported to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento’s NICU, where he stayed for seven days due to Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He’s now a happy, healthy 3-year-old. With her unique background as an experienced birthing nurse as well as a mother who experienced a NICU, Gambone was asked to help design the NICU at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. What Gambone and the rest of the design team came up with is the 16-bed, 13,000-square-foot Sutter Roseville NICU, which had its grand opening Tuesday and features many family-friendly components and amenities, including: - Four private rooms that are roomy enough to allow the mother to stay overnight. These are the only private rooms in a NICU in the Sacramento region; - Spacious bassinet stations in semi-private rooms so the specialized equipment, nursing staff, doctor and parents can all be involved in each baby’s care; - A look and feel similar to home, with oak flooring and cabinetry, sinks instead of wash basins, and even miniature cribs for babies that don’t need to be in incubators; - A room allowing mothers to use breast pumps in privacy; - A sleep room similar to a nice motel room to transition parents and baby from hospital to home. “During the design process, a priority for me was to see a NICU that would make the parents feel comfortable spending time with their infants without feeling like they are in the way,” Gambone said in a news release. “At a traditional NICU, the space is so limited that parents don’t feel welcome to stay with their newborns. There just isn’t any space for them along with the nurses. “At this new NICU, I think parents will feel very comfortable spending the time they desperately need with their babies. While, at the same time, it is very user-friendly for the nurses and incorporates all of the latest technology for the health and safety of the babies.” “There is a trend nationally to make neonatal intensive care units more family-friendly, and this is the first of its kind in the Sacramento region,” said Dr. Gustavo Sosa, medical director of the Sutter Roseville NICU, who was involved from the beginning in the unit’s design in a news release. “NICUs have traditionally been centered solely on the advanced care offered by nurses and doctors, and in the past parents weren’t even allowed to hold their babies in the NICU. Research has shown many benefits for parents and their babies if there is holding, snuggling, skin-to-skin touching. This NICU allows for that enhanced bonding between mother and child, and makes it so parents feel comfortable in getting involved in their baby’s care.” The NICU at Sutter Roseville, an extension of the NICU at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, was built from the ground up for $11.9 million and connects to the hospital’s Family Birthing Center. The Roseville NICU is a Level III unit, which means it can care for the sickest of newborns who are in need of state-of-the-art technology to survive.