Care for the Tiniest Patients

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2022

When families think about welcoming a new baby, most don’t envision that baby needing specialized care. When that happens, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is here to provide the care parents and babies need.

Some estimates show that up to 15 percent of American babies require the specialized care found in a neonatal intensive care unit. NICUs often provide care for babies who are born prematurely, but the team of NICU providers may also care for full-term babies who need additional assistance for some reason.

When a baby requires care in the NICU at NGMC Braselton, it involves care for the entire family—a full medical team provides resources and support for both the baby and the family.

Leaving a Lasting Impression

The Schneider family has firsthand knowledge of that care. Mom Sara and dad Zach are the proud parents of two boys, 5-year-old Sawyer and 3-year-old Dawson. Both spent time in their first days in the Braselton Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Though the two boys’ birth stories and situations were different, both required the attention of the NICU team.

Sawyer was born at 37 weeks gestation, when Sara was induced due to high blood pressure. Following a lengthy labor, Sawyer was delivered by emergency cesarean section and required resuscitation and the use of a ventilator.

Because he needed a highly-specialized treatment following his birth, he was transferred to another facility, but Sara remains amazed at the level of care and attention to detail received at Braselton.

“Even after Sawyer was taken to the other hospital, the care and support I received was above and beyond,” said Schneider. “Staff sat with me throughout the day and kept me updated on Sawyer’s progress.”

Less than two years later, the family returned to NGMC Braselton for the birth of their second son, also at 37 weeks. Dawson’s delivery went well, but as he took his first breaths, he developed a pneumothorax, which causes the lung to collapse. This required intervention to reinflate the lung and help him breathe. He was in the Braselton NICU for six days. 

“They had concerns at the time that they would have to transfer him to Gainesville because of space,” said Schneider. “Dr. Kimberly Barrett, advocated for him to stay at Braselton to lessen the stress of travel just after birth with Sawyer at home.”

Care When It’s Needed Most

NGMC Braselton is a Level II NICU with 17 patient beds and staffed 24 hours a day with a team of highly skilled clinicians.

Babies in the NICU receive highly specialized care from a multidisciplinary team, including board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners, neonatal respiratory therapists, clinical pharmacists, physical therapists and case managers.

Interested in supporting services like our NICU? Make a gift today to support Northeast Georgia Health System!

About NGMC’s Women & Children’s Services

At Northeast Georgia Medical Center, life’s most sacred moments happen every day. Choosing where these precious moments are created is important. From the very first embrace to caring for your children when they are sick, we treasure each moment just as you do.