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Bridgeport Hospital Foundation launches NICU modernization project

Bridgeport Hospital Foundation launches NICU modernization project

Friday, November 18, 2016

Spearheaded by a major naming gift from the Allison Family of Westport, the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation has launched a campaign to raise the balance of $7 million to modernize the Yale New Haven Children's Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Bridgeport.

"This project will support our vision to offer the best in family-centered medicine and provide the best possible outcomes for premature babies entrusted to our care," said Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab. "By providing more private rooms and patient bays as well as a centralized nurses' station, this project will improve the patient and caregiver experience significantly."

"Children's causes have always been close to my heart," said Simin Allison, explaining why she and her family provided the naming gift. "The NICU staff does an amazing job and their efforts are very impactful in the community."

Established in 1972 as the first of its kind in Fairfield County, the Bridgeport NICU provides care to 500 infants each year, including those born at less than 25 weeks' gestation. These extremely low-birthweight infants remain hospitalized for months and are usually discharged home by the mother's normal due date for a full-term pregnancy. Other more mature infants receive care for less complicated problems that are usually resolved within the first week of life.

The NICU was last renovated in 1998 and at the time was considered a state-of-the art facility. Nearly 20 years later, the standard of care has changed. "Equipment has gotten larger and more of it is needed for each patient," said Robert Herzlinger, MD, director of Neonatology for Yale New Haven Children's Hospital at Bridgeport. "The number of infants requiring intensive care has also increased as medical advances allow more babies to survive at increasingly younger ages."

The modernization project will provide:

  • Larger, more private patient areas to promote safe, high-quality, family-centered care. The increased privacy will decrease the risk of infection and give anxious parents the calm, quiet environment they need to support their child.
  • Lower lighting in treatment areas to create a calmer, more healing environment that promotes the baby's development.
  • A consultation room for family support and education.
  • A central nurses' station with comprehensive monitoring technology for increased patient safety.

The NICU modernization is expected to be completed in late 2017. For more information on the impact of neonatal intensive care, visit: