RNICU awarded for project to reduce brain injuries in babies

Published: Jan. 23, 2017

LANSING, MI – Sparrow’s Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) has received a major national Nursing award for an innovative project to reduce brain injuries in premature babies.

Sparrow has received a Nursing Team Achievement Award as part of the Excellence in Nursing recognition program held by Modern Healthcare, a nationally recognized leader in healthcare business news, research and data.

It’s the second year in a row that Sparrow has received an Excellence in Nursing Award. Breast Health Nurse Navigator Sharon Cosgrove was honored last year.

“We are very proud and honored to be recognized for our work in treating our smallest Patients,” said Mary Lou Wesley, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “Because of our work on this project, we’ve reduced the lifelong hardship these injuries can cause babies and their families, improved quality of life, and reduced costs.”

The project focuses on a form of brain injuries called intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), which can lead to future hospitalizations and numerous risk factors in our smallest preemies.

In 2013, more than a quarter of very low birth weight infants at Sparrow had some degree of IVH. The project, implemented in July 2014, involved creating a variety of medical care protocols and nursing and respiratory care guidelines in IVH cases. The change has been dramatic, reducing the need for frequent ultrasounds of the head and placement of shunts.

Sparrow has the only RNICU in the mid-Michigan region and cares for nearly 600 acutely ill infants each year. The RNICU team provides each infant with care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sparrow’s RNICU offers multiple treatment options and specialized equipment designed to support each infant’s developmental needs.

In 2015, Sparrow was designated mid-Michigan’s only Baby Friendly® Hospital, a national benchmark in quality care for mothers and babies that promotes best practices in infant feeding and mother-baby bonding. Sparrow is also mid-Michigan’s only Magnet-designated hospital for Nursing, recognizing Sparrow as a leader in quality, Patient care, Nursing excellence and innovative practices.

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