WEIRTON - Babies born at Weirton Medical Center will have some extra protection from now on.
The hospital recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art infant monitoring system, installed by Intertech, to provide new, up-to-date methods of monitoring and providing security for newborns and their families.
"There is nothing more important than the well-being of our patients of all ages and with this new system, we are able to go a step further to protect our smallest of patients," Weirton Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Charles M. O'Brien stated. "The system, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of our newborns."
The new system works continuously using radio transmissions and monitoring, and includes a band placed on the infant's ankle immediately after birth, as well as an escort badge worn by the monitoring nurse.
The bands are larger than previous ones used at Weirton Medical, and tamper-proof, according to hospital officials.
"This is very hard to take off," Belinda Decaria, a registered nurse at the hospital, explained.
Belinda Decaria, a registered nurse at Weirton Medical Center, discusses the new infant monitoring system installed at the hospital while caring for a recent arrival. -- Craig Howell
Other safety measures are included to make sure the baby isn't taken anywhere it's not supposed to.
"When the baby gets near the door wells, it automatically locks," she said.
An alarm also is triggered if the bands are compromised in some way.
Mike Fidler, whose first child was born Friday and was being monitored with the new system, says it provides some added peace of mind.
"It makes you feel good," he said. "It makes you feel safe."
In addition to these measures, hospital security also makes its rounds through the nursery area every hour, checking on the various aspects of the system.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)