GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville Health System has a new way to help babies born prematurely.
Dr. Michael Stewart, Medical Director for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, says the Small Baby Unit in the NICU is the first of its kind in the state.
“Most babies that are admitted to the Small Baby Unit are between 23 weeks and 28 weeks. They probably spend about a month to two months within the unit as they grow and mature before they get released to kind of the larger population in the NICU,” Dr. Stewart explained. “Whenever they’re born so extremely premature and so fragile, they’re at high risk for complications.”
Since GHS opened the Small Baby Unit in January, they’ve helped about 30 newborns. A team of trained experts and dedicated staff focus on care for the littlest patients.
Incubators keep the babies in a dark, warm environment to grow and develop as they normally would.
“Whenever they’re born so extremely premature and so fragile, they’re at high risk for complications, whether it be from lung disease or brain hemorrhages or things like that and so we wanted to see, can we decrease those potential complications,” Dr. Stewart said.
Twins Andrew and Alex have been here ever since they came into the world at 24 weeks – each weighed less than two pounds.
Their parents, Stefanie and Matt Bowling, say when the boys were born so early, they didn’t know what to expect.
“Every day we get to see them growing just like they would if they were still in the womb,” Matt described. They’re thankful
“The nurses and the doctors here, I mean they watch over these guys like they’re their own. You trust that they’re in good hands,” Stefanie said.