SOTU shines light on KC hospital NICU

Rebecca Crockett
February 06, 2020 - 6:53 am
Two-year-old Ellie Schneider is held by her mother, Robin, at the State of the Union Address in the US House Chamber.

Mark Wilson - Getty Images North America

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WASHINGTON, DC - St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City received a glowing endorsement during the State of the Union Address Tuesday night when President Donald Trump told the story of the survival of a very premature baby born there.

Ellie Schnieider was one of the youngest babies in the US to survive being born at just 21 weeks and six days. While talking about medical breakthroughs and neonatal care, the president recognized Ellie, now a healthy two-year-old, who was sitting in the lap of her mother, Robin, in the House chamber.

Recognition on the national stage can be flattering and exciting, but there is something better, said Dr. Barbara Carr, Mednax affiliate neo-natologist at St. Luke's.

"The best recognition we get is when we get is when we get hugs from grateful parents, and pictures when they turn one or when they graduate from high school," Carr said. "But it is also nice to get this type of recognition, as well, of the work that we're doing."

Success begins with excellent care before the baby is born, which was the case with Ellie.

"We start with what we call our golden hour, and that really is a very coordinated effort of care in the first hour to two hours of life," Carr said.

Sometimes simple things, like turning up the temperature in the delivery room, can directly affect a baby's chances of survival. It can also reduce post delivery problems.

The hospital says that extremely premature babies at St. Lukes have a 50-50 chance of survival, which is a huge improvement from other facilities, where survival rate is only six percent.
 

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