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NICU Cameras Connect Families To Tiny Patients

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – New technology has eased the stress for some parents not able to see their babies getting care in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Intermountain Health Care has put visitor restrictions in place due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases. Families have limited to two visitors in the hospital, and only one person can go in every 12 hours.

The NICU is not a fun place for parents to visit their babies, and now

Restrictions have made it hard for new mother Jessica Cedeno to see her 6-month-old baby, Angali, at Primary Children’s Hospital. The NICU is already not a fun place for parents to see their children.

“It is what it is. I mean, you just make the best of your situation,” Cedeno said.

Her baby has been quarantined in the NICU after being born with an under-developed esophagus. Cedeno said she was happy Angali is getting the proper care, but has struggled with the COVID-19 visitation regulations.

Only two guests can see any patient. Only one person at a time is let in every 12 hours, and they must comply with face mask requirements and social distancing precautions inside the hospital.

To ease the stress, the hospital has installed cameras in the NICU rooms for families to connect with their little ones whenever and where ever they want. NICU director Kara Curnen said the project was already in the works, and they rushed up the timeline to ease the burden COVID-19 has brought on parents.

“Nothing is as good as your own baby, in your own arms. [This] it is the next best thing that we can offer,” Curnen said.

Cedeno said the cameras have changed her life, being able to check on her baby and see her development daily, sometimes even hourly.

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