When your baby is in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you can’t be there 24 hours a day. You might wake up in the night and want to see your baby. Or you might have family members who are unable to travel from far away to visit.
To help ease the stress of having a baby in the NICU, Spartanburg Medical Center installed 40 cameras in February 2017 to connect families with their hospitalized babies. 35 cameras are in the NICU and 5 are in the pediatric intensive care unit at Spartanburg Medical Center.
Called AngelEye, the camera system works like Skype. Families can log in to their phone, computer or tablet and watch their baby any time, day or night.
“Some moms go back to work to save their maternity leave until their baby is out of the NICU,” said NICU nurse manager Hope Garcia. “While they’re away from their baby at work or at night, they want to see their baby.”
Annette Bodie’s daughter, Ruthy, was born premature. While she is able to visit every day, her husband logs in to see their little girl from work. Their nine-year-old son has only been able to see Ruthy with the aid of AngelEye, due to respiratory virus restrictions in the NICU.
“AngelEye has been a real comfort to my family. My son asks about his sister every day,” Bodie said. “Both of the grandparents have been watching her on the cameras as well."
Parents with a baby in the NICU are provided secure log in credentials. Once they are logged in, they can watch their baby in a streaming video, and the NICU care team can send email messages about how baby is doing.
"This is an environment where our families are so nervous,” said Elizabeth Kissinger, RN, MSN, director of women and children’s services. “A mom may wake up in the middle night and want to see her baby. This gives parents the reassurance that their baby is OK, even though they are apart.”
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is the first in the state to use AngelEye.
Learn more about prenatal events and support groups for new moms offered by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.