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IWK adding family rooms to neonatal intensive care unit

Layout will make it feel like families have their own living space

A single room unit is under construction at the IWK Health Centre, which will allow parents to stay with their babies.

Currently, the neonatal intensive care unit has open-bay pods where babies’ incubators are separated by curtains.

Tanya Bishop, unit operation manager at the IWK, says that the new single room unit will have a big effect on parents and babies.

According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, single family rooms improve the “neurobehavioral and medical outcomes” in babies. These babies require fewer medical procedures, have less pain and physiological stress, develop less infection, and have better weight gain.

Bishop says that the unit will consist of 32 rooms for families with single babies (275 square feet each) and six rooms for families with twins (375 square feet each).

The single rooms provide parents and babies with a quieter space, more individualized lighting, and a chance for the parents to remain with their babies overnight.

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