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Union Hospital's NICU installs web cameras that allow parents to watch their baby at all times

15 NicView cameras were recently installed allowing parents, family members and friends to see their baby through a live stream.

Posted: Apr 30, 2019 11:39 AM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 12:08 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Union Hospital has introduced a new way for families and friends to keep an eye on their babies while they stay in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

15 NICVIEW cameras were recently installed allowing parents, family members and friends to see their baby through a live stream.

It can be difficult for parents to be separated from their newborns. But, the new technology is making parents feel a little bit more at ease. It allows them to check on their baby when they can't be at the hospital.

Shelby and William Tharp spend hours at the NICU at Union Hospital. One of their biggest joys happens to come in a tiny package. Their daughter, Mallory, was born three weeks premature. She weighed 4.4 pounds. Mallory has been in the NICU for 50 days.

"It was a huge shock," William Tharp, Mallory's Dad said. "Every parent wants their a perfectly healthy baby."

It's been an emotional journey for the Tharps. Mallory also has Down Syndrome and a rare heart defect.

"Pretty much all day and every day we're here (at the NICU)," William Tharp added. "We spend the evenings with our son."

The Tharps also have a 3-year-old son who has yet to meet Mallory in person. They may not be able to take their baby girl home just yet, but they're able to keep a close eye on her at all times.

Union Health Foundation provided nearly $70,000 to fund a new camera system in Union Hospital's NICU. The cameras were installed last week. It gives parents an on-demand, video only views of their babies.

In addition to being able to view their baby, people an also see caregiver notes, take screenshots, and make a donation to support the foundation's NICU fund.

The Tharps say, the new technology assures them they'll never miss a moment of their life's little blessing.

"The camera at least helps in showing our friends and our support system where she {Mallory} is and she is doing great. She's in great hands here," William Tharp said.

The NICVIEW system is a live-streaming webcam that sits above the baby's incubator. Parents can log in on a computer or a mobile device with a passcode for the times they can't be at the bedside. The passcode can be shared with family and friends so they too can keep a close eye.

Nurses at Union Hospital say the cameras were needed to keep that parent bond strong.

Union Hospital is the first hospital in the Wabash Valley to have NICU web cameras. They're the 9th hospital in the state of Indiana. Currently, there are 230 hospitals in the United States that offer this service.

To support the foundation's NICU fund, click here.

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