Putting a smile on the faces of our littlest patients
One of the most important decisions expectant parents will make during the course of their pregnancy is where to go for prenatal care and where to deliver their precious bundle of joy. That decision is even more vital when potential complications exist.
While other area hospitals have shown a decline in maternity and labor & delivery care — in fact, some have closed their departments altogether — St. Mary has experienced a dramatic increase in the need for these services, a trend that promises to continue well into the future.
Dr. Prem Marlapudi, Director of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Chairman of Pediatrics, is a strong supporter of the plans for the upcoming expansion and renovations to the Labor & Delivery Unit including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and together with his wife, Dr. Grace Marlapudi, recently gave a generous donation to these projects.
“These renovations are long overdue. It is critical that parents and babies have access to the most advanced, state-of-the-art equipment and qualified medical professionals.” These modifications and expansion of the NICU will allow for the best care in a semi-private setting, a component that is crucial in allowing these babies to thrive and bond with their parents.
Dr. Marlapudi explained that in effect, Labor & Delivery is the backbone of a community hospital. It is generally a department where lifelong relationships begin and many decisions for the future are made. Based on what a family experiences, they will encourage other family members, friends and community members to utilize the services of St. Mary for everything from a broken bone, to major surgery, to stroke, cardiovascular, and cancer care. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that St. Mary is the hospital of choice for the residents of Bucks County and beyond.”
Dr. Marlapudi has been with St. Mary since 1989 where he established the first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Bucks County, which is staffed by experienced NICU Nurses and in-house Board-Certified Neonatologists around the clock. They have cared for so many premature babies over the years, many of whom are now young adults. St. Mary’s NICU has the distinction of having the best outcomes with a shorter length of stay and lowest mortality and morbidity rates compared to similar units in the country. At larger city hospitals, there are multiple layers of care, and here it is comforting for parents to deal directly with experienced specialist physicians to make critical and time-sensitive decisions.
Dr. Marlapudi is aware of many babies in high-risk situations who don’t have a chance from the beginning, as so many areas in this country and around the world lack the availability of in-house specialized Neonatology Services. “It gives me so much heartfelt satisfaction to see the positive outcomes that we are able to provide due to the kindness and generosity of St. Mary donors who give time and again to programs that truly make a difference. It is so touching to see these children at our NICU reunions, year after year, happy and healthy. That is exactly what our gifts are for — happy, healthy families. What could be more rewarding?”