Face it, the last thing any new mom or dad wants to do is leave their newborn in the hospital. But for many parents whose premature babies face a stay of weeks or months, caring for the rest of the family, or even a job, means no more 24-7 stays with the new little one. Thanks to a gift from Kansas City Royals Charities, families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at The University of Kansas Hospital can have round-the-clock access to their child, even when they can’t be there in person.
The NICU has installed a high definition camera called Angel Eye in 21 rooms. It’s a secure internet-based video and audio system that allows family and friends to view the child in real time from any computer or mobile device. Parents can talk to their newborn, and interact with staff members through the password-protected system from anywhere they have an internet connection.
The Angel Eye system is the latest innovation made possible by the Royals. Last year, the team donated money for a device called the Pea Pod. It measures body composition in the babies, and helps them to grow lean muscle mass and not too much fat.
The video below includes various shots of both the Angel Eye system and the Pea Pod. It also includes sound from a mom, Keshia Anderson, who lives in Lawrence, who was the first one to try the Angel Eye system. She explains what a comfort it is to be able to watch little Layla, born prematurely, and facing a stay of several months. Also included is an interview with Laurie Hay, nurse manager of the NICU, who shows how the system works, and how the system had been a long-time request from families. In addition, Gail Schuetz, Maternal/Child nursing director, describes the Pea Pod, how it works, and why it’s such an important tool in caring for premature babies.