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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 3rd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 26 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 26

Community Corner: Technology + people = another life saved

Staff at Marian Regional Medical Center used nitric oxide to save newborn

BY AMY ASMAN


BABY VALERIE
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIAN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

For the first time on record at Marian Regional Medical Center, staffers in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) used nitric oxide to save the life of a seriously ill newborn.

Dr. Eddie Alderete, medical director of Neonatal Services, and his team used nitric oxide on baby Valeria in the hours after her birth on July 13. The distressed baby started improving within five minutes of inhaling the treatment. Not to be confused with nitrous oxide, nitric oxide dilates the pulmonary vessels to treat pulmonary hypertension in neonatal patients.

“She’s a tough little girl. She just wouldn’t give up and neither would we,” Alderete said in a press release. He believes the baby’s troubles involved a poorly functioning umbilical cord preventing the proper delivery of oxygen in the uterus. “The baby was very sick, right from birth. Valeria’s survival was very special, as is she.”

Alderete said the new 21-bed NICU, which opened with the new hospital in May 2012, has enabled the use of nitric oxide, a treatment never before used on a baby born at Marian.

“Baby Valeria wouldn’t have survived [without the treatment],” Alderete said in the release. “That’s why this unit was built. Technology’s important, but really, it’s the people. We had to work as a team. We had to stay focused on her care.”

 

Managing Editor Amy Asman compiled this week’s Community Corner. Information should be sent to the Sun via mail, e-mail, or fax.