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Moving Day for 23 Newborns is a Success

March 11, 2021

Moving day is stressful for anyone, but when the move involves relocating 23 hospital patients, even a short hop across the hall becomes complicated. And when those 23 patients are premature or medically fragile newborns receiving care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), then it becomes imperative that the move goes as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.

On Thursday, March 4, staff from various Good Samaritan Hospital departments came together to transfer the hospital’s 16-bed NICU to its temporary home in the Newborn Nursery, located just across the corridor. It happened to be a day when the NICU was full beyond its normal capacity, with 23 newborns including several micro-preemies and four on ventilators. Yet despite the challenges inherent in relocating these tiny patients and the sophisticated medical equipment they require, the process was seamless for staff, babies, and parents.

The NICU was moved into a temporary home to alleviate the newborns’ exposure to noise coming from construction taking place one floor above, where a third dedicated operating room is being constructed for Labor and Delivery patients. When that project is complete, in about a month, the NICU will return to its former location.

“For the past month, we have been equipping the newborn nursery with extra oxygen and fittings that the NICU needs,” said Nancy McNeill, RN, Director of Maternal-Child Health at Good Sam. “Those babies are small, but they take up a lot of space with all the equipment used for their care.”

McNeill explained that moving NICU patients is complex, and micro-preemies, those born before 26 weeks gestation or weighing less than 1 pound 12 ounces, present even greater challenges. Yet despite the complexity in moving these fragile babies, the process was as smooth as she had hoped. NICU Nurse-Manager Lori Mastrandrea, RN, had prepared parents in advance for the big day.

“I’m most proud when I see everyone working together to achieve a goal,” said McNeil. “We had staff from the NICU, obstetrics, pediatrics, and inventory specialists helping us get this done. It went so well that the parents barely noticed.”

When the overall project is complete, Good Samaritan’s Labor and Delivery Unit will boast three fully functional operating rooms to accommodate Cesarean-section deliveries. The additional surgical space is essential because the hospital’s Maternity Unit is one of the busiest on Long Island, welcoming nearly 3,000 newborns to the world each year. With its safe, modern environment, compassionate staff, and stellar reputation, Good Samaritan continues to be the hospital of choice for the region’s growing families.

For additional information on Obstetrics and Gynecology at Good Samaritan, please call (631) 376-4444.