CHI Hospital St. Elizabeth's is helping parents feel close to NICU babies through a camera

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 17:55:24-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Almost three months ago Thorin Stevens was born at 26 weeks old. He was the first of Lacey Stevens's four boys to be in the NICU. Causing sadness, stress and fear for Lacey. "Because you don't know what's gonna happen or how it's gonna end," said Stevens.

When babies are born early and spend time in the NICU it can be hard on the family and the baby. A Lincoln CHI hospital, St. Elizabeth's, is using technology that may make a difference helping parents feel like they are there when they can't be. This new technology is the Angel Eye camera system.

Here's how it works, the camera is placed in the baby's room and pointed at the crib. Then parents and other family members can log on through a secure network with a personal password so they can see their baby from anywhere. "We could check on him at night if we weren't able to be here or even during the day if I had to run to an appointment," said Stevens.

GayAnn Wagner is a NICU nurse at St. Elizabeth's. She said this new technology promotes bonding between families and babies. In the NICU that can be challenging. "When you have a new born and you get that baby you get to have them in your room the whole time and there's a lot of bonding that goes on, and a baby in the NICU is a little different, maybe you can't hold that baby every day, maybe that baby is not well," said Wagner.

She said St. Elizabeth's was testing this new technology and plans to have it in Omaha Hospitals soon. "I know that Creighton-Bergan is looking at getting this system as well, we've told them all the wonderful things about it and I know they are trying to get it into their hospitals as soon as possible," said Wagner.

Lacey says the more families with access to the camera the better. "It relieved some of the stress, let us have people involved in his life," said Stevens, "really a lot of reassurance for our stay."

Lacey says she is hopeful Throin will be able to go home next week after spending almost 12 weeks in the NICU.