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Donors keep babies alive

Donors to Alaska’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital – The Children’s Hospital at Providence are keeping Alaska’s most medically fragile newborns alive. A new state-of-the-art transport isolette for the Newborn Intensive Care Unit was just purchased thanks to the generosity of the community.

The Children’s Hospital at Providence has a 66-bed, level III NICU which cares for babies as young as 22 weeks and as little as 1 lb, 1 ounce. When infants who need level III care are born outside of Providence our NICU transport team is there to safely deliver them to the hospital. The transport team picks up babies from all around the state and brings them in using a jet, helicopter, or ambulance. This new piece of life-saving equipment will keep babies safe during their transport.

Providence’s NICU transport team is staffed with 8 neonatal nurse practitioners who are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This round the clock coverage ensures all of Alaska’s infants are able to receive the care they need immediately. When a call comes in the team often arrives before the baby is even born, or immediately afterwards. The team also teaches neonatal resuscitation and stabilization classes across the state. This gives caregivers in rural areas the tools they need to keep infants alive until the transport team can pick them up.

The NICU transport team delivers around 200 infants to the NICU each year. 120 are transferred by air and 80 are transferred by ambulance. Those infants come from Fairbanks, Bethel, Nome, Barrow, Kenai, Kodiak, Juneau, Ketchikan, and beyond. Its takes on average 3 hours to deliver infants from the furthest reaches of Barrow and southeast Alaska.

The transport isolette is best described as ‘a NICU on a stretcher’. It has everything the team needs to keep babies alive and stable during transport. This brand new piece of technology has features not previously available. Its high frequency ventilator provides warmed oxygen to infants and its cooling system prevents brain injuries.

Providence’s NICU transport program is an example of The Children’s Hospital at Providence’s dedication to providing the best care possible to all of Alaska’s children. The generous support of the community makes this possible. Thank you to all who have given and are making miracles happen for Alaska’s most vulnerable infants. We couldn’t do it without you!