Edward Hospital’s Newborn Developmental Follow-up Clinic, which opened in August, is seeing its first patients: all high-risk babies who recently went home after a stay in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
“We’ve always seen the need for follow-up with many of the NICU babies,” says Dr. Bob Covert, medical director of Edward’s NICU and neonatologist, DuPage Neonatology Associates. “In the past, we referred the families to programs in the Chicago area. Now, we’re offering these services right on the Edward campus.”
According to Dr. Covert, certain babies are automatically referred to the Edward clinic or other follow-up programs: those born at or less than 32 weeks or whose birth weight was at or less than 1,500 grams (about 3 pounds, 4 ounces). Other candidates for referral are babies with developmental abnormalities that are identified in the NICU, and those with life-threatening conditions, such as infections.
“The goal is to regularly evaluate the babies’ physical and mental development, and see what we can do, together with the parents, to prevent any long-term delay,” says nurse Jean Hennessey, clinic coordinator.
“The focus of the clinic neonatologists is on physical and mental development, but we’re also an extra set of eyes checking on their medical needs between pediatrician appointments,” says Dr. Deanna Duray, who is the clinic’s medical co-director with Dr. Leslie Farolan.
For information on the Newborn Developmental Follow-up Clinic, call 630-527-3076. For more information on Edward’s OB and NICU services, visit www.edward.org/familybirthcenter.
Health Aware is a weekly column submitted by Edward Hospital.