Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles met with new parents Natalie and Stephen Quinn, along with their new bundle of joy, Felix, at Sunshine Coast University Hospital's new and improved neonatal unit.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles met with new parents Natalie and Stephen Quinn, along with their new bundle of joy, Felix, at Sunshine Coast University Hospital's new and improved neonatal unit. Ashley Carter

Enhanced Coast services mean better care for premature bubs

FEWER Sunshine Coast families with premature babies will have to travel to Brisbane for treatment thanks to enhanced local services.

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital's neonatal unit has been expanded and can now care for premature babies born from 29 weeks.

This morning, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles announced the improvements, saying it was "yet another" advancement in the level of service provided to Sunshine Coast locals.

"Those babies that might be more likely to need ventilation don't need to travel with their family to Brisbane to get those services, they can be delivered right here on the Coast," Mr Miles said.

"More than 3000 babies every year are born here at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. It's a wonderful facility, which is a credit to the incredible staff taking care of mums and bubs here."

 

 

Parents are able to stay with their babies 24/7 and be directly involved in their care.
Parents are able to stay with their babies 24/7 and be directly involved in their care. Ashley Carter

Neonatal unit clinical director Lizelle Weber said parents could stay with their babies in the unit 24-hours a day, and be directly involved in the care and decision making.

She said not having to be transported to another hospital to receive extra care would reduce the risk of complication as well as extra stress on the family.

"It's much safer for them to receive treatment locally," she said.

The survival rate of premature babies had improved by up to 95 per cent in the past few years if they were born in a facility capable of a higher standard of care, Ms Weber said.

 

Little Felix Quinn came into the world five weeks early, and after a week at Sunshine Coast University Hospital's neonatal unit, can finally go home.
Little Felix Quinn came into the world five weeks early, and after a week at Sunshine Coast University Hospital's neonatal unit, can finally go home. Ashley Carter

New mum Natalie Quinn said before baby Felix came along, she never thought she would need to use neonatal services.

Mrs Quinn's due date wasn't until April 5, but Felix decided to come into the world five weeks early.

"I obviously was not expecting to go into labour so early, so it was quite upsetting at first to be put into hospital and have this environment, because you never think you're going to be here longer than a few hours," she said.

"It was quite a scary experience at first, but then everyone just made you feel really at ease."

After a week in the neonatal ward, the new family is finally heading home.

"He's done really well," Mrs Quinn said.

"I'm really grateful the facility is here. If we just got sent home that evening, we don't know what would've happened."

 

Mr Miles said the enhanced services at Sunshine Coast University Hospital was a result of increased highly-trained staff.

"It's very much the intention to over time keep expanding the range of services that can be delivered here locally, and this is the next step on that journey," he said.



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