Avera Medical Minute: Specialized Beds for Preemies in NICU - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Specialized Beds for Preemies in NICU

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Erin, Derek, Jase and Micah Beekhuizen of Sioux Center, IA. Erin, Derek, Jase and Micah Beekhuizen of Sioux Center, IA.

The Giraffe OmniBed is a bed with funny name and life saving features for critically ill and extremely fragile premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.  We want to introduce you to a little boy from Northwest Iowa whose parents credit the OmniBed and his care for saving his life.

Mom Erin Beekhuizen says, "Jase is a little short, a little small but he's all there." 

It's like a reunion of sorts for the Beekhuizens from Sioux Center, Iowa. They came back to visit everyone from Avera McKennan. Dad Derek holds a squirming 8 month old Micah and mom Erin has 2 year old Jase on her lap.

It's hard to believe by looking at him that Jase was born 4 months early and weighed 1 pound 12 ounces.  He stayed in the NICU for 4 months and  he lived in the Giraffe OmniBed in the Avera McKennan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 5 weeks.

NICU supervisor Kara DeGroot, RN says, "The Giraffe OmniBed is an isolette for the baby to stay in when they are first born. It's really good for critical infants and really small ones. It's like a warmer and an isolette combined."  

Another feature is the nurses never have to move the baby. If they need to do X-Rays everything is right there. That relieves stress on the baby.

Erin says, "We had to be careful of germs and infection when they are that young and that little they just don't have the ability to fend off things. So to know he was in a contained space and we could put our hands in and not get so many germs was great. We are so thankful to have the care we did."

The NICU has 3 OmniBeds. They are considered the most-advanced, user friendly  and developmentally-supportive microenvironment on the market today.

The problem is they are very expensive costing more than $30,000 each. The Avera McKennan Foundation has built a fundraising campaign around them in the hopes of getting more of them.

Erin says, "Jase has no long term effects. He is a miracle in all senses of the word. It's amazing. He could have had all kinds of complications and he came out of all of them really well."

If there were ever a poster child for how the Giraffe OmniBed,  superb care and loving parents can nurture something the size of a pop bottle back to life  you're looking at him. And what a sight to behold.

Donations for the Giraffe OmniBeds Campaign should be directed to:
The Avera McKennan Foundation
800 East 21st. Street
PO Box 5045
Sioux Falls, SD  57117-5045
(605) 322-8900
Or Click HERE for the link.


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