Memorial Hospital Carbondale simulates drills for infant emergency treatment

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Having a baby is a time of excitement and joy, but there can be complications. When a newborn needs life-saving medical care, there's no time to waste, so, medical crews from Memorial Hospital Carbondale and St. Louis Children's Hospital joined forces Tuesday, Oct. 17.

If you've heard or even seen the blue chopper, then it's probably the Children's Hospital Air Med team responding to a critical need at your local or regional hospital.

Today, Memorial Hospital and St Louis came together for drills. Sheri McSwain, the OB/Perinatal Outreach Coordinator, explained the significance of the drills.

"The drills are so important is we like to take the process and be better at what we are doing," McSwain said.

McSwain with Carbondale Memorial collaborates with St Louis Childrens Hospital if a mother and/ or the baby needs to be transferred.

"You have to know when to hold them and  you have to know when to fold them...We are in southern Illinois, so our resources are different compared to resources that are in the larger cities. And that is the biggest challenge," McSwain suggested.

But  when there is a challenge, there is a solution, according to Sam Julian, the director of the NICU at St Louis Children's Hospital.

"Hospitals such as SIH Carbondale, Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, St Francis all provide outstanding care, but there are certain babies that tertiary or quaternary care," Julian said. "And so that's when they refer babies to us...we never want any baby to have to have NICU care, but we try to make that transition as gentle as possible."

A patient may need to be transferred to a more specialized care setting, so it's important for the St Louis team to come to Carbondale to do these drills.

"To see the Capabilities on the grounds, to be able to visualize the units, it gives us a unique perspective of how we can help and further care for these neo-nates prior to their transfer to St Louis," Julian explained.

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