|Pomona Valley Hospital is First in the Region to Use Innovative Technology for Neonates POMONA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2012 -- Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to use new, life-saving technology for fragile, premature infants, thanks to a $24,000 grant from the Will Rogers Institute.
Almost all premature infants are unable to breathe on their own because their lungs are not fully developed; respiratory distress is a leading cause of death for premature infants. The equipment – Neurally Adjusted Ventilator Assist with enhanced Bi-level CPAP capabilities, or NAVA – is an entirely new way of ventilating newborns. It helps babies breathe without a ventilator breathing tube inserted into their lungs, which can cause chronic lung damage and infections with prolonged use. NAVA is controlled by the electrical activity of the diaphragm and delivers air through a non-invasive face mask or nasal prongs. Because mothers can hold their infants more easily, the equipment also helps to promote mother/baby bonding, another life-saving essential for tiny newborns.
Za'riyah Johnson is the first baby to be treated at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center with NAVA. Born July more than four months premature, she weighed just a pound and a half and fit in the palm of her mother's hand. Initially put on a ventilator breathing tube, she was taken off the ventilator last week and is now breathing spontaneously with assistance from NAVA. She is doing well and doctors estimate she may be able to go home as early as late October. "I'm really glad that she's at Pomona Valley Hospital and was the first to use this new technology," said Za'riyah's mother, Margaret Lewis, 32. "It brought a sense of relief. The machine is giving her what she needs to keep breathing. It's helped. She's growing. She's still fighting. And these are all good signs."
The hospital purchased the NAVA equipment with enhanced Bi-level CPAP capabilities through a grant awarded this year by the Will Rogers Institute Neonatal Ventilator and Pulmonary Grant Program. "One of the primary missions of the Will Rogers Institute is to promote pulmonary health care issues. There is no better way to do that than to help Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center with the purchase of this vital equipment," said Jim Orr, President, Distribution at FilmDistrict and chair of the Will Rogers Institute's Neonatal Committee.
"We're extremely grateful to the Will Rogers Institute for the grant that has allowed us to pioneer use of this advanced equipment in our region," said Marty Sandoval, Respiratory Manager, Children's Services at PVHMC. "Because of the success we've already had with the technology and the two units that were purchased, the hospital would like to acquire more of the units to provide the best, life-saving care to our tiniest and most vulnerable patients – premature newborns."
About Pomona Valley Medical Center Hospital
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is a 453-bed, acute care, nationally accredited hospital serving the greater Pomona Valley. It is one of only 332 hospitals in the country to be named a recipient of the Health Grades 2012 Outstanding Patient Experience Award. PVHMC has also been recognized nationally as a 2011 Thomson Reuters 50 Top Cardio Vascular Hospital (nationally). The Hospital has been a four-time recipient of Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals in the past 16 years. For more information please visit our web site at www.pvhmc.org.
Photo: Jerry Choppi RCP, RRT; Pat Samuelson, WRMPPF; Dr. Hellen Rodriguez , Foundation board chair and the medical director of women’s and children’s services at PVHMC; and Marty Sandoval, RCP, RRT.