Hillcrest's Newest Medical Equipment Saves Baby's Life

Tuesday, August 20th 2019, 11:06 pm
By: Justin Shrair

A new state of the art piece of technology inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Hillcrest Medical Center is already helping save lives.

The medical staff at Hillcrest got this equipment less than a week before Baxter was born, putting the nearly $200,000 transporter to work for the first time.

Karlie Pagano-Donald and her husband, Chris, remember the tense and emotional moments that followed baby Baxter's birth when he was born not breathing.

"As soon as he was born, it was like the air got sucked out of him because just immediately went to the table and they had to start resuscitating him," said Baxter's dad Chris Doland.

"It's just really sad because you want to hold your baby, you want to hear them cry, and that's a weird thing to want to hear your baby cry, but when you don't it’s like the worst feeling. It’s like failure and total despair," said Baxter's mother Karlie Pagano-Donald.

Baxter had to be taken to a hospital with a higher level of care and the Hillcrest NICU had just rolled out the Voyager Transport Incubator.

The hospital said they are the only hospital in the Tulsa area that has the specific set up, custom-built with two crucial elements including a cooling machine.

“That helps to prevent or help to heal a brain injury in a neonate," said Grace Switzer, a Registered Nurse who works in Hillcrest's NICU.

High-Frequency ventilation is also another crucial element.

"High frequency is just a different, and higher level of ventilation for critically ill respiratory patients, respiratory compromised newborns," said Switzer.

A team of two nurses and a respiratory therapist loaded Baxter up in the transporter and brought him to Hillcrest Medical Center's NICU.

"Having the ability to offer it to them on-site could be the difference between saving a life and not saving a life," said Switzer.

Baxter spent about 23 days in the NICU. 6 months later he and his parents are doing great.

"He's jumping around, he's smiling, he's trying to talk. I feel like they saved his life. I mean, I know they did,” said his mother.

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