New Facility for Premature Babies Opens at Shaarei Zedek

YERUSHALAYIM -

Shaare Zedek Hospital in Yerushalayim has opened a neonatal intensive care and intermediate care unit that will be able to provide care for 50 infants, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The facility is located on the ninth-floor of the NIS 130 million Next Generation building adjacent to the main building, which is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. It will include obstetrics, maternity and pediatrics wards for children of all ages.

On Monday, 50 incubators carrying premature infants were wheeled into the new facility. The space vacated will be used for new delivery rooms.

The new unit will be equipped with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) designed specially for newborns — the first in Israel and one of only a few of its kind in the world. It is considered a life-saving device, to prevent brain damage from lack of oxygen and treat internal bleeding and infections.

The more spacious surroundings are of more than esthetic value. The neonatal intensive care facility, which contains respirators for the newborns, has only two incubators per room, at a distance of 1.6 meters from each other, and the intensive-monitoring section has six beds per room. This will allow more infants to survive, as it reduces the risk of nosocomial (in-house) infections spread easily by close proximity. Such infections are common elsewhere and are responsible for the deaths of many premature newborns, according to recent State Comptroller reports.

The inauguration of the facility was an emotional event. Many of the doctors and nurses on hand had tears of joy in their eyes.

“We thank G-d for such a happy event. This place will be a great treatment tool for us,” said Prof. Francis Mimouni, the head of the neonatology department since January.

Shaare Zedek, along with Bikur Cholim Hospital, (which it manages) delivers a total of 20,000 infants annually, more than any other medical center in the world.