Franklin Square plans new NICU

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center admits more than 300 newborns to its neonatal intensive care unit every year, but the area is small and outdated.

Today they unveiled plans for a larger more modern facility.

For new parents Shane and Stephanie McCardle the thrill of being able to love, hold and feed their newborn distances them from the complications of the pregnancy.

Their daughter's due date was January 22nd, but she came early at 34 weeks and 5 days.  

It is not unusual, but it is tough on parents who want to spend as much time as they can with their babies, and in the hospital, they can't.

The NICU at MedStar Franklin Square was built in 1989, has an open floor plan and can bed 23 newborns.

There are curtains separating the patients, giving families virtually no privacy.

Stephanie McCardle says "It would be a lot better if everyone had their own space because you don't want to interrupt anybody else's private time with their child."

Franklin Square kicked off a $4 million campaign to elected officials and business owners.

It is called tiny feet, tiny hands and big hearts.

The goal is to make the NICU a state of the art medical facility.

Individual rooms will be part of the new amenities.

Neonatology Chief Dr. Fernando Mena says "If you have a private room where each baby is in their own environment and each family is in their own environment it makes infection control much easier."

The unit will increase in size from 2,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet.

The new unit will give those with the tiny feet, the tiny hands and the big hearts a better quality of new life.  

If you'd like to contribute to the NICU at Franklin Square you can call (443) 777-7980.

You can also click here to go to the hospital's website, where you can learn more about donating.

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