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RN Connects Family Separated by Birth Crisis

Nurses at Providence Medical Center in Newberg, Ore., rolled a new telestroke robot named Oscar to the bedside of a seriously ill mother for a therapeutic “virtual visit” with her newborn son, at a neonatal ICU 35 miles away, after the pair were separated following an emergency C-section.

The drama unfolded in the obstetrics unit at the 40-bed Newberg hospital when Ivonne Cortez, 34, who was near term, arrived complaining of headaches and later collapsed when her heart and that of her unborn baby stopped beating. After an emergency C-section, nurses helped resuscitate both the mother and infant boy, who was rushed for pediatric specialist care at a sister facility in St. Vincent.

Mignon Nielsen, RN, BSN, says Cortez regained consciousness and was in critical but stable condition two days later when she expressed anxiety about not having seen her child. Nielsen discussed the option of using a new robotic telestroke unit with another nurse and a manager, and was given the go-ahead for the long-distance reunion.

Mignon Nielsen, RN

“I felt it was important for the mother’s health to visualize her baby,” says Nielsen, adding Cortez’s blood pressure and heart rate improved during the real-time video encounter with her recovering 8-pound infant, Bradley. “The mom got teary-eyed, was smiling and able to see, talk to and hear the baby with her husband and other three children around her.”

Cortez was diagnosed with neonatal cardiomyopathy induced by pregnancy, an uncommon condition, Nielsen says. The mother and son are reportedly doing fine at home.

The telestroke system launched in May to link neuro specialists on duty around the clock at Providence Stroke Center in Portland to physicians treating stroke victims at small or remote Oregon hospitals. Newberg is the fifth rural hospital to be equipped with a telestroke robot in the Internet-based network that also serves Providence facilities in Seaside, Medford and Hood River, as well as Curry Hospital Health System in Gold Beach.

Nielsen says gaining access to the telestroke robot to connect a mom and her baby showed another inspiring use for the technology. “It’s a great story with a happy outcome that reminds us why we’re here.”

By | 2020-04-15T14:29:13-04:00 November 8th, 2010|Categories: Regional, West|0 Comments

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