When Darlene Biltz’s baby, Vincent, was born at 25 weeks in Naples, FL, he weighed just 1 pound, 5 ounces. His premature birth prompted the need to transfer him to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The closest unit was at South Miami Hospital, where he’s spent the first three months of his life.
While work, family obligations and the need to rest keep Ms. Blitz and her husband away from baby Vincent part of the time, they are never unable to see him. Thanks to philanthropic donations made to the Baptist Health South Florida Foundation, Vincent’s NICU room is equipped with a video camera that provides a 24/7 livestream connection to mom and dad back home.
(Video: The Baptist Health News Team hears from new mom Darlene Blitz about using the NicView video streaming technology at South Miami Hospital. Video by Alcyene Almeida Rodrigues)
“It’s amazing. I can see so many of the changes he’s going through and cute things I normally would have missed being at home,” Ms. Blitz said. “Through the camera I’m able to see him smile, have hiccups and move around. It’s incredible.”
The web-based video camera system, called NicView, is installed in each of the hospital’s 62 NICU rooms. It allows parents and other family members who are provided a password to check in on their baby in the NICU anytime, from anywhere, through a smartphone or computer.
“The camera allowing me to see him anytime has helped put me at ease and keep my peace of mind,” Ms. Blitz said. “I don’t think I would have been as calm if I hadn’t been able to see him when I’m not here.”
She said the connections she’s made with other NICU parents, the doctors, nurses and volunteers have also made a difference.
“The support at this hospital is amazing,” Ms. Blitz added. “I don’t know what we would have done without it.”