Expectant parents urged to develop emergency plan for newborns
Expectant parents who create an urgent medical plan for their newborns will be more prepared for unexpected complications, according to a news release from the Texas Children's Hospital.
Citing information from the March of Dimes, the news release states about 13.1 percent of babies born in Texas are born prematurely — before 37 weeks gestation — often requiring specialized care in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Babies born too soon are vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses, according to the release.
Even the healthiest pregnancies can result in a premature birth or unexpected complication, the release states, making planning key for babies' health and parents' peace of mind, Dr. Charleta Guillory, neonatologist at Texas Children's Hospital and chair of the March of Dimes Texas State Prematurity Campaign said in the release.
In preparing a baby urgent medical plan, or BUMP, the release advises expectant parents to discuss neonatal intensive care with their doctors, research the best NICUs in their area, and become familiar with the level of care and services available.
The release also advises parents to make copies of the address and contact information for the NICU they prefer — and pertinent medical information — and take it with them to the hospital.
The American Academy of Pediatrics designates NICUs by level of care, ranging from Level I to Level IV facilities, which offer access to neonatologists around the clock, surgical repair for congenital or acquired conditions and maintain a range of specialists, pediatric surgical specialists and pediatric anesthesiologists on-site.
Level IV care is available at Texas Children's Hospital NICU, the nation's largest, and treats more than 2,500 premature and critically ill babies annually, according to the news release.
For more information about Texas Children's Newborn Center, visit www.texaschildrens.org/newborn.
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