• UF Health Jacksonville gets 2 NICU transporters for medically-challenged babies

    By: Kaitlyn Chana, Action News Jax


    A nonprofit organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a local hospital to buy new equipment to help newborns.

    Preemies or medically challenged infants who are born in a hospital that doesn’t have specialized equipment have to be transferred to an intensive care hospital. Now, UF Health Jacksonville has two advanced neonatal intensive care unit transporters.

    The Walmart/Sam’s Club campaign for Children's Miracle Network helped fund $250,000 of the $302,000 total cost.

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    This latest technology is being used to help save newborns. Christopher Outen said the new transporter allows his team to pick up high-risk newborns from other hospitals and care for them while transferring them to the intensive care unit at UF Health Jax.

    “This is, essentially, hospital on wheels, almost. It can do almost anything inside here,” Outen said.

    The tiniest patients might otherwise die if they didn’t get moved in a specialized transporter to a hospital that has highly trained personnel.

    Outen said it’s very difficult for parents to release their newborn into the care of the transporter staff, but they know it’s the best thing for their child.

    “It’s very difficult for them, but they are very thankful. It’s hard because they are born at an outside facility and we have to take their baby to another hospital. And moms usually can’t leave right away,” Outen said.

    Outen said the transporter is easy to maneuver and has everything they need inside a NICU on the cart to safely transport a newborn.

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    The old device has massive monitors and gauges on the side.

    “Our old one worked, but it was three steps behind what we had here at our hospital,” Outen said.

    Now, this new one has multiple ventilators and a cooling process for a critically ill infant.

    “It’s much more user-friendly. It’s what we are familiar with here. Everything is digital. Everything is easy to read. Everything is easy to program,” Outen said.

    Each piece of equipment has a special purpose in the baby’s treatment.

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