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The new device allows nurses to connect with pediatricians at Portland hospitals

GRAPHIC PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Registered nurses Cheryl Carter (left) and Cyndi Rozcicha demonstrate Providence's new TeleNeonatal Resuscitation system with the remote aid of nurse Sarah Teller (on screen).

A video conference is far from a new idea, but the idea behind it could help to save lives going forward at Providence Medical Center.

In early July, Providence Newberg Medical Center launched TeleNeontal Resuscitation, which brings the guidance of neonatal practitioners into hospital rooms without physically having to be there.

The program will help Newberg, and eventually other smaller Providence hospitals, save the lives of infants born prematurely or those with breathing difficulties.

Bev Martino, associate nurse manager at PNMC, said Newberg has a robust neonatal resuscitation team. This new measure, though, gives those nurses working in the unit more skills as they will have access to pediatricians from either Providence St. Vincent or Providence Portland hospitals who are not physically present.

The tool works essentially as a video conference, with a pediatrician from one of the hospitals calling in to assist. They can control the device to see the infant from all angles, to check vital signs and to see the actions the nurses are taking. The device itself, which stands about as tall as a person, is positioned in a manner so it's not in the way of nurses delivering care to an infant. It also comes with a Bluetooth stethoscope, so the pediatrician on the other end can hear the heartbeat of the infant in Newberg.

"It really will be a helpful tool," Martino said.

The device has a computer and camera built in, which is operated remotely. Once it's in position, the nurses in Newberg won't have to do anything else, as the person on the other end is in control of the device. The mechanism starts when a call is placed to a transfer station by the nurses, which is recorded. The actual video itself displayed on the device is not recorded.

Martino said the benefit of this device is that the pediatrician can manage the nurses from afar, while the nurses can serve as the doctor's hands.

"It's becoming more popular, telemedicine," Martino said.

Julie Metcalf, a nurse practitioner splitting time between the St. Vincent and Portland campuses, called in on the device during a demonstration. She overlooked an infant dummy, demonstrating how the device can monitor from an alternate location.

"We're out of her way and she's out of ours," Martino said.

"Before we had this we had patients born who didn't have access," Metcalf said.

She said this allows for babies born with breathing issues or born prematurely to get the care they need, regardless of whether a pediatrician is in the hospital. Martino said eventually the program will go through all of Providence's facilities in Oregon.

Martino said she envisions there will be two types of calls for this device. The first will essentially just be a notice to a pediatrician that they may be needed. The second, which Martino called a "stat call," would be more likely, in which a resuscitation is already ongoing.

"It means I need you now," she said.

Although Martino said only about 1 percent of babies are born not breathing, this technology is especially important at smaller and more rural medical centers.

"It's all the more reason to have it," she said.

PNMC is the second location to launch the TeleNeonatal Resuscitation Program; Providence Willamette Falls launched in May. Three more Oregon hospitals are planning to launch the program during the remainder of the year.

Business briefs

New traffic signal on College Street in Newberg

The city of Newberg is installing new traffic control signage at the intersection of South College and East Fourth streets to improve traffic direction.

The installation on the east, west and south sides of the intersection will begin Aug. 15. According to the city, the notable traffic flow change is on the east leg of the intersection where it directs all westbound traffic on East Fourth Street to stop at College Street.

This includes westbound traffic intending to turn right onto South College Street. Currently, westbound vehicles on East Fourth Street are allowed to turn right onto South College Street without stopping.

Newberg tattoo artist to head to LA for convention

Newberg tattoo artist Jason Doherty of Gilded Heart Tattoo will present at the Los Angeles Tattoo Convention at the Long Beach Convention Center Aug 9-11.

The third annual convention also features a car show, tattoo contests and a Miss Ink Contest and a Miss Pinup Contest. Gilded Heart Tattoo is located at 211 E. First St. in Newberg.

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