Children’s Hospital opens unit 3800 to expand services of TotalCare Birth Center and NICU
Bryan Oshiro, MD (center), medical director of maternal/fetal medicine, and Zareh Sarrafian, MBA (right), Children’s Hospital administrator, cut the ribbon to officially open unit 3800 as Janet Evans (back far left), Janel Isaeff (back left), Greg Patton, MD (back center), and B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS, look on.
In the early afternoon of August 1, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital celebrated the grand opening of unit 3800, an expansion of the labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) services already at the hospital.
“I think we are done laboring and we are about to deliver this unit,” smiled Zareh Sarrafian, MBA, Children’s Hospital administrator, in his remarks.
The unit expands the maternity ward by 20 beds to a total of 56, and the NICU grows from 72 to a total of 84.
For the Faught family of Corona, the celebration offered a chance to share their gratefulness. Amy Faught first visited Children’s Hospital 10 years ago when her daughter, Hannah, was born 16 weeks premature. Hannah spent five months in the third-floor NICU while Ms. Faught remained in the ninth-floor maternity ward.
“I like the idea that if you have a baby in the NIC
Three-time Olympic champion swimmer Janet Evans (right) poses with Hannah and Wyatt Faught. Both Hannah and Wyatt were born prematurely at the Children’s Hospital.
U part, you will be closer,” says Ms. Faught.
“If moms have a baby with a problem, they are going to be in close proximity,” affirms Bryan Oshiro, MD, medical director of maternal/fetal medicine at Children’s Hospital. He explains that the new intermediate-care intensive-care rooms are adjacent to the postpartum maternity rooms. “The full-blown neonatal intensive care unit is 50 feet down the hallway.”
The expansion comes during a time of rapid growth for the TotalCare Birth Center. The center is expected to deliver 3,000 babies this year, up 500 from last year.
“We’ve increased our referral base,” says Dr. Oshiro. “They are sending all sorts of high-risk babies. We have had so many babies here that have heart defects, spina bifida, all these birth defects that nobody else can take care of.”
Additionally, the event was host to another special guest, three-time Olympic swimmer Janet Evans, who, after winning four gold medals and one silver, is awaiting the birth of her first child this fall with her husband in Orange County.
“It’s amazing,” says Ms. Evans of the unit. After a tour, she even thought—however briefly—of changing doctors to deliver her child in October at Loma Linda, “if I lived a little closer.” Ms. Evans introduced a 12-second chime that will be played over the unit’s speakers starting September 1 when each baby is born.
The new rooms for mothers are high tech, with flat screen televisions, DVD players, and computer stations for the nurses and physicians to chart their patients’ progress. Also included on the unit is a heightened security system for the newborns. All but two of the rooms will be private rooms for one patient. Each room comes with a table and chairs for visitors and a fold-out bed at each bedside for relatives who wish to spend the night.
By Preston Smith