New system aims to help premature babies

Kfar Saba's Meir hospital has begun using a new, individually tailored system for taking care of premature babies that is designed to maximize their development and that turns parents into part of the hospital care team, reports And Meir will be responsible for training other Israeli hospitals in the use of the NIPCAP system, which is being used in several other countries in their premature baby wards. According to the report, specialist doctors from the US recently trained one doctor and four nurses at Meir in the system, which aims to reduce the stresses affecting the sensitive brains of premature babies and to maximize their development by closely monitoring their individual reactions to stimuli and keeping the surrounding lighting and noise levels low. Parents are an integral part of the team caring for their baby. A senior doctor at Meir said that hospital premature wards contained many "stressful factors" that wombs did not, and because the brain cells of premature babies were still developing and forming connections, they could be harmed by these factors. The report said the system is now being used on about 30 babies in Meir's premature ward, and the hospital will soon begin training other hospitals in its use.