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New Level of Care for the Tiniest Patients at Frederick Memorial Hospital

07-25-2016

Since 1998, FMH has partnered with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to provide care to premature and critically ill infants through our Billy Miller Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Recently, our program earned accreditation as a Level III Perinatal Center, which now allows us to care for newborns as young as 24 weeks gestational age.

Giving birth is one of the most natural things in the world. The vast majority of women have uncomplicated, full-term pregnancies that result in healthy infants who require very little to no specialized care. But for the relatively small percentage of women whose pregnancies are classified as high risk, or whose babies are born ill or prematurely, having a Level III Perinatal Center for newborn care at FMH provides welcome peace of mind.

Frederick Memorial Hospital has a special arrangement with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, one of the nation’s leaders in pediatric research and neonatal care, to provide the highest quality of newborn care for premature or very ill infants. Led by Medical Director Dr.Bharti Razdan, the Johns Hopkins team is made up of physicians and nurse practitioners who specialize in neonatology, the field of pediatrics that focuses on the care of ill and premature newborns.

Infants in our neonatal intensive care unit are cared for by a multidisciplinary team that includes not only medical providers and nurses, but also a respiratory therapist, social worker, nutritionist, physical and occupational therapists, chaplain, and the most important team member—the parents—who all collaborate to provide carefully coordinated care at this earliest, most vulnerable stage of life. In addition, with the help of telemedicine (when needed), other specialists such as a cardiologist or a neurologist can provide consultation right here at FMH without having to transfer the baby.

What is Telemedicine?

Neonatologists in the Billy Miller NICU have the ability to connect with pediatric cardiologists, neurologists, and other specialists at Children’s National Medical Center in DC and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore using telemedicine. Telemedicine is the electronic exchange of medical information from one site using technologies like interactive two-way video, smart phones, and other wireless tools. Offsite specialists can see the newborn in real time through a high-resolution camera and scope equipment, listen to their heartbeat, lung, and bowel sounds, and review diagnostic tests. Telemedicine allows our neonatal intensive care team to collaborate with other high level pediatric specialists without actually having to transfer the infant to another location.

“Caring for these babies here in Frederick instead of transporting them keeps our families together at a critical time,” said Dr. Razdan. “It helps the mom and dad to bond with the baby and provides an opportunity for them to participate in the care of their baby. And when parents and siblings become a part of their baby’s care immediately, everyone learns together—and the baby benefits from the constant early, loving contact that only their family can give.”

To learn more about the Billy Miller NICU at FMH, as well as our BirthPlace, click here.