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01.11.21

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): Premature birth

Maternity
The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Hôpital de La Tour offers the highest standards of tailored support for newborns by ensuring a doctor is always on call to deliver around-the-clock care.

A comprehensive infrastructure to care for premature babies.

The NICU provides a safe environment and tailored care to support newborns and their parents during this difficult time. 

A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks and the World Health Organization (WHO) defines preterm birth as babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. This is a challenging time for both the parents, who are separated from their newborn, and for the baby, who needs special care to stay healthy. “Hôpital de La Tour delivers premature babies from 34 weeks onwards,” explains Roberta De Luca, a specialist in pediatrics and neonatology at the hospital.  “If the baby is born at another hospital, they need to be at least 32 weeks and weigh more than 1,500 grams to be able to be transferred to our NICU.” 

The De Oliveira Correia family have recently gone through this experience. “Our triplets were born early,” explains their father, Michael. “They were born at 32 weeks by cesarean section at Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). After a week, they were transferred to the NICU at Hôpital de La Tour. After having a team of more than 40 people deliver our babies, it was relaxing to move to somewhere calmer for our triplets.”

Safe and personalized monitoring

The team of nurses and pediatric nurses are dedicated to providing attentive care to both the newborn baby and their family. An on-call doctor is on site 24/7 in order to guarantee the highest level of safety and act quickly, if necessary. “Our triplets quickly grew stronger and we were able to follow their progress,” Michael happily explains. “We had telephone updates at every stage. They even called us when they had a bath so that we could be there.” 
The NICU at Hôpital de La Tour looks after between 50 and 60 premature babies every year. “We have Level II A accreditation from the Swiss Society of Neonatology,” adds Roberta De Luca. “Our framework means that we can operate as a hospital while providing first-class hotel services.” New parents have around-the-clock access to the unit so that they can visit their baby whenever they want. 


Rebuilding confidence

Welcoming a premature baby into the world can be a difficult and worrying time. Hôpital de La Tour also offers psychotherapy sessions to support new parents who are going through this experience. “We give parents the chance to spend a night alone with their baby just before they are discharged from the maternity unit,” explains the pediatrician. “The idea is to imitate the normal birth process. This is incredibly important for a family who have a premature baby and helps parents to rebuild their confidence.” 
The De Oliveira Correia family spent a total of two weeks at Hôpital de La Tour. “The hardest part is now over, our little girl and two boys are getting on well, it was so reassuring to see them getting stronger every day. We now have to tackle the challenges of daily life that come with three newborn babies and this isn’t always easy. However, they are healthy these days and that’s what counts.”