Maternal and Infant care at WOMEN
NURSING MANAGER DONNA PURVIS CAN LOOK UP AT EVERY CORNER IN THE REGIONAL NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AT THE UAB WOMEN & INFANTS CENTER and see monitor
readings for all of the patients in that section. Around her neck, Purvis and other nurses wear an electronic communication device that virtually links them to communication systems that signal when a baby needs extra help. There are more than 100 private rooms on two floors comprising the RNICU in the medical facility, dedicated to the best and most advanced care for women and infants. For babies and families of babies facing risks, the RNICU and the special nurses and doctors who work in the UAB Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine are often that bridge that helps them navigate the challenges.
INFANTS CENTER BY S H E R R E L W H E E L E R S T E W A R T
P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y C AYA N N E C R E A T I V E
Each year, about 1,500 babies are cared for in UAB’s RNICU, including babies transferred from other hospitals with critical-care needs. Transport is available through UAB Critical Care Transport, which provides ground or air transportation 24 hours per day, every day of the year. Susan Jernigan of Midland City, Alabama, near Dothan and Ozark, was referred to UAB as she and her husband prepared for the arrival of their first child, Emma Kate. They had been trying to have children for five years and Jernigan said she was considered high risk for delivery. Emma Kate arrived at 27 weeks in August, after Jernigan had been in the hospital about a week. Jernigan spends most days now right at her baby’s side during the day—sometimes sitting in a big recliner and using her laptop while the baby sleeps. www.albabymag.com 29