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Special Delivery Unit for Pregnant Moms With Birth Defects in Fetus

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia could not be prouder to announce it will launch the world's first comprehensive// medical unit for mothers carrying a fetus with a known birth defect. Set to open in January 2008, the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit will offer comprehensive medical care, from prenatal diagnosis through delivery to mother-infant care.

The new eight-bed labor and delivery unit will allow Children’s Hospital’s experts in fetal medicine and surgery to provide comprehensive, seamless care from diagnosis, delivery and necessary interventions through postnatal follow-up. Children’s Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment team expects the unit to improve outcomes for children with fetal abnormalities, as well as for their mothers. The Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit will feature a welcome center, concierge service, private rooms, and round-the-clock care provided by obstetricians, nurse-midwives and the most highly experienced nurses.

“This Special Delivery Unit, the first of its kind in the world, will allow mothers carrying babies with birth defects the best treatment possible from the most experienced team of fetal experts in the world; this is truly a unique concept,” said N. Scott Adzick, M.D., surgeon-in chief and director of Children’s Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. “Approximately one in every 33 babies born are diagnosed with a birth defect and now the team with the greatest experience and expertise will have the premier facility for treating those babies and their mothers.”

This is the first delivery unit at Children’s Hospital and the first special delivery unit in a children’s hospital dedicated to high-risk pregnancies. Dr. Adzick believes the new unit will provide an environment more conducive to developing and perfecting fetal treatments to cure disease.

“We know that babies with special needs require special care before and after birth and now ba bies from across the nation and around the world can be cared for in one place dedicated specifically to the care of these babies and their mothers,” said Lori Howell, RN, MSN, executive director of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. “The SDU is located near the hospital’s world-class Newborn/Infant Center and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and the multitude of Children’s Hospital’s renowned pediatric subspecialists are available at a moment’s notice.

The Special Delivery Unit is named for the Garbose Family in recognition of a major gift from William and Lynne Garbose to support Children’s Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.

“When I was carrying a baby diagnosed with a rare and complicated heart defect, I was unable to deliver my baby at the pediatric institution where she was to be treated. I was tremendously anxious about the logistics of transporting my critically ill newborn and, once transferred, I was pained by the physical separation between us,” said Lynne Garbose, a member of Children’s Hospital’s Board of Directors. “The Special Delivery Unit will enable babies to receive treatment immediately and allow mothers to be just ‘down the hall’ rather than in another location.”

As one of only a few centers in the world of its kind, the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia offers a wide range of comprehensive fetal surgery services that support patients from the evaluation stages to follow-up care. The Center was established in 1995 and has received over 7000 referrals from all 50 states and 46 countries and has performed over 400 fetal surgery operations including more than 70 EXIT procedures.

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