Amidst the ongoing conflict, Laniado's Birthing centre is at full capacity. The reputation of Laniado as one of the country's premier birthing centres has led to a surge in expectant mothers choosing to deliver there for a sense of security amidst the turmoil. Consequently, the delivery room is inundated, impacting the capacity and operation of the NICU. Nevertheless, the commitment to providing exceptional care remains unwavering even amidst the chaos of wartime conditions.
Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stands fortified and safeguarded, a testament to the support from generous UK donors and Israel's Ministry of Health. This fortified haven shields against potential rocket strikes and biological threats, designed as a shelter to house patients within its fortified walls in case of an attack. Steel doors, reinforced concrete, and window covers offer a shield that ensures the safety of the fragile babies within.
Despite the challenging circumstances, the NICU remains operational 24/7, with the only noticeable change being an increase in workload due to the influx of evacuees, estimated at around 15,000 in Netanya.
The significance of this fortified structure cannot be overstated, especially considering the delicate nature of moving critically ill premature babies. The risks involved in relocating them, including potential brain bleeds or dislodgement of catheters and feeding tubes, are immense. Previously, it took five staff members considerable effort to move just one baby within the facility.
With the new fortified unit in place, the risks to both the infants and the dedicated staff have significantly reduced. Stockpiling medications, baby formulas, and other essentials has been a vital part of preparing for potential escalations in the conflict. Contingency plans for staffing adjustments in case of intensified warfare have been meticulously set, recognising that staff may be called to join their military units.
Further ensuring safety, security measures against intruders have been established, with soldiers from the home front command stationed full-time at the hospital. Despite the challenging circumstances, the NICU remains operational 24/7, with the only noticeable change being an increase in workload due to the influx of evacuees, estimated at around 15,000 in Netanya.