Despite the pressures COVID-19 has placed on our health care system, the tiniest of Sinai Health’s patients continue to receive the best care the country has to offer. Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has proven to be a well-equipped place to weather the threat of COVID-19, thanks in no small part to its private room configuration and strict infection prevention and control protocols.
But this doesn’t mean Sinai Health’s NICU has been untouched by the pandemic. Since March 2020, Mount Sinai Hospital has treated moms and babies who have tested positive for the virus and has learned much about its treatment. And still, more than 1,000 families receive care in our NICU each year.
One of those families included a mom who was positive for COVID-19 and due to give birth. In a world-first instance, the mother passed the virus on to her infant via her own blood, not through droplets. The mom’s placenta and breast milk also both tested positive for COVID-19. Today, mom and baby are both healthy and are engaged with Sinai Health in ongoing research studies in order to develop best-in-class treatments for future patients.
Because parents are partners in the care of their NICU babies, thanks to Mount Sinai’s Family Integrated Care model, this meant adjustments to how the care team worked together to ensure the health and well-being of babies and parents alike.
While our NICU patients are tiny, the strength embodied by them and their caregivers knows no bounds, as exemplified by the resilience of our NICU families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.