NICU doctor talks preemie life-saving techniques

NICU doctor talks preemie life-saving techniques

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - When a baby is born early, the survival rate d rops. Thankfully, there are medical advances available in Toledo to help those babies survive.

Dr. Patrick Ethington, a NICU doctor at ProMedica Children's Hospital, says the lungs are where they can have the most influence.

He says they've gone more simplistic and less invasive in their support, because too much support can cause injury.

Dr. Ethington, a 10-year NICU veteran, says a non-invasive technique they use is catching on nationally and internationally.

Basically, breathing assistance is given when the baby naturally asks for it, so they're not fighting the ventilator.

"There's a catheter that goes down into their stomach and it's able to pick up the impulse to the diaphragm, which is the main muscle for respiration," said Dr. Ethington.

Dr. Patrick says they need to give NICU babies milk fortifiers, so they're getting the extras they need, like calcium.

In the past, they've used a milk fortifier that's derived from cow's milk protein, but they've switched to purely human.

He says that's better because the babies are more likely to tolerate it.

Inside the NICU right now is baby Rey, born at 25 weeks.

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