UPDATE: American Family Children's Hospital shows off its newest - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: American Family Children's Hospital shows off its newest unit

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UPDATE: MADISON (WKOW)-- American Family Children's Hospital showed off its new neonatal intensive care unit Thursday. It's just part of a major, $43.9 million expansion of the hospital.

The new NICU has the latest equipment not only to help the babies but also to make families more comfortable.

 “Now it's never great to have your child in the hospital, and we understand that, but we also know that being able to be in the room with your baby, not having to run down the hall or across the way to use the shower or restroom or whatever, to have to sleep somewhere else, all of this is really important,” said Diane Heatley, the medical director.

Each family will have their own room and shower. The sofa is also a pull out bed. And the details of each space are intended to ease what is an incredibly stressful time for families.

“We really had an emphasis on all the colors and artwork in the NICU to really help soothe the situation,” said Angie Baker, the NICU nurse manager.

The new neonatal center is just the second Level IV unit in the state. Most of the 14 beds are private. There are two double rooms for multiples or for babies who may need surgery.

“You can potentially bring the operating room to the baby,” Heatley said. “So these babies  who are too fragile to even take downstairs to the operating room, the rooms are big enough, the features in the room will actually support doing surgical procedures up here in the unit which is fun to think about.”

Since American Family Children's Hospital is not a birthing hospital, the neonatal intensive care unit is also equipped for virtual visits. That way moms who are still at another hospital can see and talk to their infants in the NICU.

The hospital will start accepting patients in the unit on May 13.

MADISON (WKOW) -- American Family Children's Hospital on Thursday showed off its newly-completed eighth floor, which includes a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a universal care unit.

Both were paid for through the "Sick Kids Can't Wait" capital campaign, which raised more than $16 million to build two additional floors onto the hospital. In addition to the NICU and universal care unit, the campaign funded a new state-of-the-art imaging pavilion that opened in January.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A Level IV NICU offers the highest level of care for the premature and full-term infants with the most complex cases. This one will begin taking patients on May 13.
WKOW's Kristen Barbaresi will be at today's open house and give our viewers a look inside the hospital's latest addition tonight on 27 news at 5 and 6.

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