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Special Care Nursery

The Special Care Nursery is intended to care for babies who need extra support and monitoring for a number of different health reasons. This can include babies who are born early (premature) or babies that have other health concerns requiring specialized care.

Depending on each baby’s specific needs, they may stay in the Special Care Nursery for anywhere from a few hours, up to several weeks if necessary. Each baby’s individual needs and plan of care will be shared and discussed with his or her family on a regular basis.

The Special Care Nursery at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre provides “Level 1” newborn care. This means that we can provide care for babies who are born as early as 35 weeks gestation, and who require extra supports including respiratory (breathing) support, intravenous (IV) therapy, and other types of specialized newborn care.

The Maternal/Child department works in partnership with parents and families to provide care for babies who require care in the Special Care Nursery. Families are an important part of the healthcare team and we encourage families to participate as much as possible in the care of their babies. Therefore, the nursery includes comfy loungers and privacy for parent/baby skin-to-skin contact and for ensuring that parents can spend hours of time as close as possible to their baby and learn to provide care.

Should your baby need to be transferred to the Stollery Children's Hospital for more in-depth care, the Special Care Nursery will provide a safe environment for the newborn until the transport team arrives. In addition, the Nursery will be equipped to provide care for newborns that no longer require neonatal intensive care when they are transported back to the health center. The transition to home begins.

Providing all of the medical support that we possibly can through our local hospital is the goal of every department. We want to avoid the long drive or the emergency flight down to Edmonton for parents and children, and we don’t want to see our community members struggle with additional costs, time away from work, and increased familial stress.

This project was funded through a generous donations from Syncrude Canada and the Al Shamal Shriners through the Fort McMurray Shrine Club.

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