Schneck Level II NICU Vital to Our Communities

Schneck Medical Center has had the privilege of delivering babies for over 100 years. Since day one, Schneck has focused on providing the highest quality of care for our patients. On October 20, 2020 Schneck was honored to be certified as a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As a Level II NICU, Schneck can care for babies born as early as 32 weeks gestation.

What does this mean for our community?

It means that many babies born prematurely, or those born at full gestation but needing extra care, can stay right here at Schneck, close to their families.

Schneck’s Level II NICU can provide respiratory care for these infants, such as infant nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Vapotherm (heated high flow oxygen), short-term endotracheal intubation, and nasal cannula. We can also provide hydration and medication through intravenous lines. If these infants are unable to eat independently, we can deliver feedings through nasogastric tubes placed through their noses into their stomachs. Feedings are given through an infant feeding pump to provide the proper amount of nutrition over an appropriate time.

Premature infants often have difficulty with feeding. Schneck’s speech therapists evaluate these issues and help the family get the proper feeding supplies. The speech therapist then works with these infants when they are able to begin eating normally.

In the NICU setting, Schneck Respiratory Care Services treats and monitors babies for an extended time. Our respiratory therapists can keep babies on ventilators for up to 48 hours. Often, babies can come off a ventilator after a few hours, preventing transfers to other facilities and allowing moms and babies to stay together, reducing stress for families.

“Schneck’s Level II NICU is a blessing for our communities. Before, all families delivering before 35 weeks were transferred to hospitals in metropolitan areas, which creates a real burden. They have to do a lot of driving every day to see their baby, or they have to spend money to stay in a hotel near the hospital. With other children at home, it makes it even harder to manage this situation. Since we are now a Level II NICU, there is additional equipment we need to have to continue to provide excellence in care as we keep more babies.”

Chastity Johnson, Schneck Family Life Center Director

The Schneck Foundation has started the Born in a Small Town initiative to help with the equipment needs of our new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Born in a Small Town is the focus for Giving Tuesday on November 30. The Schneck Foundation is working with its volunteers to raise awareness and prepare for another successful Giving Tuesday project. The Schneck Foundation has set a goal of raising $100,000 for equipment for the NICU. The items it hopes to purchase include:

  • Four stationary cardiac monitors to track infant heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation for continuous monitoring of newborns needing extra care.
  • Three air/oxygen blenders to precisely measure gases and provide a Level II NICU baby with the exact concentration of oxygen to maintain continuous safe levels.
  • Three bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices to deliver a set amount of pressure and oxygen to keep the lungs open and push oxygen through the tissues into the bloodstream. A Bubble CPAP supports breathing and is used to help prevent the baby from being placed on a ventilator.
  • One infant feeding pump to support a newborn when it cannot take feedings through breast or bottle. The pump provides the correct amount of nourishment through a tube in the nose or mouth to help give the baby the nutrients needed to grow.

To learn how you can help, visit SchneckFoundationGiveNow.com.

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