Sick and premature babies in Niagara will be able to receive medical care closer to home

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Babies will be able to receive medical care closer to home in Niagara.

Niagara Health has announced the addition of five new beds on Niagara Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The NICU can now care for sicker babies after Niagara received provincial government support for the beds, supporting resources and equipment.

The unit the St. Catharines Site, will be able to provide care to infants with more complex health problems including premature babies born at 30 weeks gestation or more (previously it was 32 weeks or more).

Previously families had to travel outside of Niagara for care.

Manager of the Unit Carol Munro says having a sick baby is stressful enough, let alone having the other stressors of not being at home or not being with your support system.

The NICU level has been upgraded from a 2B to a 2C care centre. The five beds bring the total number of beds in the unit to 17.

The healthcare team is receiving extensive training on the enhanced level of care and new equipment in partnership with McMaster Children’s Hospital.