Diagnosis: Premature birth of twins
Treatment: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Caroline McGrath knew chances were good her twin boys would be born before their due date…but she never dreamed they’d come 10 weeks early.
Felix and Hugo weighed just over 3 pounds each at birth, and they were whisked to EvergreenHealth Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which provides the highest level of lifesaving care available for newborns.
“It’s the largest Level III nursery on the Eastside,” Medical Director Dr. Stephen Chentow points out. “We average about 20 babies at any one time – babies who may be very preterm, or who may need assisted ventilation, or other specialized care.”
Key to providing this exceptional care are neonatologists such as Dr. Chentow – doctors with specialized training in the care of newborns – and one is on-site in the NICU around the clock.
“Having that capability in the nursery not only benefits the little preemies like Felix and Hugo,” Dr. Chentow explains, “it also benefits any baby who’s born at EvergreenHealth and is suddenly found to have special needs.”
“It was a bit scary at first,” Caroline admits, “with all the equipment and monitors beeping at us. But the doctors and nurses really encouraged us to get involved in taking care of our children.”
That, adds Dr. Chentow, is one of the things he’s particularly proud of. “EvergreenHealth not only provides the highest level of care for the babies themselves, but for the babies’ families as well.”
Unlike the typical ward-style neonatal intensive care unit, with all babies grouped in a central space, EvergreenHealth’s NICU provides each family with its own homelike room.
“The privacy is incredibly valuable to the babies, because it gives them a really quiet, calm, controlled environment in which to grow and get bigger,” Dr. Chentow explains. “It also gives parents their own place to nest and learn about their babies as their babies get better.”
EvergreenHealth was one of the first hospitals in the country to offer single-room care for critically ill babies. The rooms are complete with a daybed, TV, refrigerator, private bathroom with shower, and even Wi-Fi access so families can make themselves right at home.
Felix, Hugo and their parents settled in nicely – and six weeks later, the twins were ready to go home.
“Our time in the NICU gave us the skills we needed to care for our babies at home,” Caroline McGrath says. “The level of care that we got throughout the entire process was just phenomenal.”
Husband Carlos Horn agrees. “We didn’t set out to use EvergreenHealth, but we couldn’t have ended up in a better place. We needed a fertility clinic, and we found one at EvergreenHealth. We wanted the best OB-GYN, and we found one at EvergreenHealth. One of the world’s experts in pregnancies involving identical twins with a single placenta is at EvergreenHealth. We needed a neonatal intensive care unit, and EvergreenHealth is known for having one of the best in the country. It’s simply world-class care, and just a few minutes from our home.”
For more information or to request a brochure on Women’s and Children’s Services, please call the EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator and Healthline at 425.899.3000 or visit our Web site at www.evergreenhealthcare.org.