S.D. County Hospitals Expand Neonatal Units To Meet Rising Demand
Hospitals across San Diego County are adding beds to their neonatal intensive care units to keep up with the rising rate of premature newborns, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
UC-San Diego Medical Center has seen its number of newborns who need intensive care rise between 5% and 7% annually, Thomas Moore, head of the medical center's program for high-risk pregnancies, said.
To meet the increased demand, the medical center will add nine beds to its NICU at a cost of $2.6 million.
Other San Diego County facilities that will add or already have added beds to their NICUs include:
- Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, which will add six beds within a few months and plans to add 12 more in 2011;
- Rady Children's Hospital in Kearny Mesa, which will add 12 beds in 2010; and
- Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women in Kearny Mesa, which added 10 beds in 2006 and plans to add 25 more beds.
According to the Union-Tribune, the biggest reason for the increased rate of premature newborns is the increase in women who are impregnated through in vitro fertilization and ovulation induction, practices that can double or triple the possibility of having twins or triplets. Twins and triplets are more likely to be born premature (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.