12 babies are transported to Akron Children's new NICU at St. El - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

12 babies are transported to Akron Children's new NICU at St. Elizabeth Boardman

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BOARDMAN TWP., Ohio - Two by two, babies in Akron Children's neonatal intensive care unit at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown were evaluated, carefully loaded and then wheeled to a waiting transport ambulance to be driven to their new home on the second floor of St. Elizabeth Boardman.

"They were very well taken care of and the staff that transported them, they were amazing as well," said new mom Rebecca Watson of Columbiana.

Watson's week old son, Nathaniel, along with 11 other babies, the smallest weighing just under two pounds, were transported to Boardman where St. Elizabeth maternity services and Akron Children's NICU have been permanently relocated.

Akron Children's neonatologist, Dr. Elena Rossi, says while the move is one of the largest they've undertaken, it's something they have plenty of experience doing.  "Transporting ill newborns is something we do each and every day. We provide the NICU care for babies who are born in regional hospitals that use our services if the babies need NICU. So, we do know how to transport the sick babies," Dr. Rossi said.

Akron Children's doubled its staff in order to make the transportation process as smooth as possible. Four physicians evaluated and wrote orders for the infants while 21 nurses; four nurse practitioners, eight respiratory therapists and six transport nurses, prepared and accepted the babies while loved ones anxiously awaited their arrival.

"I mean they have everything available in his room. We don't have to worry about going and getting something. It's all here for him, whatever he needs is right here. So this is like his own little private room and it's been perfect," Watson said.

Dr. Rossi says private rooms are the way of the future. Research has shown individual rooms promote bonding, decreases infections and shortens the length of stay.

On the new maternity floor at St. Elizabeth Boardman the staff welcomed three newborns on Monday.

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