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Norton Suburban Hospital, future home of Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital

LOUISVILLE The campus is in the midst of an $89.7 million conversion to Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital. Many changes have taken place over the past several months, and the next will be a 16-bed adult intensive care unit, planned to open this summer. Other transformations under way include creating a dedicated inpatient migraine treatment unit, a one-stop breast health center, a multidisciplinary pelvic health program, a comprehensive bone health program and specialty programs for eating disorders and integrative medicine. “We will continue to maintain a 373-bed, acute care facility serving men, women and children, but the new hospital will have dedicated women’s programs that cannot be found anywhere in the region,” said Charlotte Ipsan, RNC, MSN, NNP-BC, president of Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital.


LOUISVILLE The University of Louisville Center for Women & Infants is on the forefront of helping Kentucky handle a growing problem – babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) as a result of being exposed to drugs in the womb.

Center staff drew attention to the problem in May as the nation observed national alcohol and Drug-related birth Defects awareness week and participated in a May 20th meeting on NAS convened by the Kentucky Department of Health’s Division of Maternal and Child Health with director Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd.

Cases in Kentucky of NAS have increased 11-fold in the past decade – from 67 in 2001 to 730 in 2011. At the CWI, staff began seeing a sharp increase eight years ago and began developing new treatment models to address it.

“In 2004, we had about six babies born with NAS all year,” said Pauline Hayes, clinical nurse manager for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). “That number jumped to nine cases in the first six months alone in 2005.

While some babies exposed to drugs or alcohol in the womb show no signs of NAS or other problems at birth, “we know that 75 percent of babies exposed in utero will require hospitalization and treatment after birth – and the research available now gives us no way to know in advance which babies will be Ok at birth despite exposure and which babies will need treatment,” Hayes said.

“Our best evidence-based medicine shows that giving drug-for-drug and gradually decreasing the dose works best for these babies,” Hayes said. “We do not want any baby to go home from the hospital still on medications.”

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