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Pomona Valley Hospital is First in the Region to Use Innovative Technology for Neonates
Date:9/10/2012

POMONA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to use new, life-saving technology for fragile, premature infants, thanks to a $24,000 grant from the Will Rogers Institute.

Almost all premature infants are unable to breathe on their own because their lungs are not fully developed; respiratory distress is a leading cause of death for premature infants. The equipment – Neurally Adjusted Ventilator Assist with enhanced Bi-level CPAP capabilities, or NAVA – is an entirely new way of ventilating newborns. It helps babies breathe without a ventilator breathing tube inserted into their lungs, which can cause chronic lung damage and infections with prolonged use. NAVA is controlled by the electrical activity of the diaphragm and delivers air through a non-invasive face mask or nasal prongs. Because mothers can hold their infants more easily, the equipment also helps to promote mother/baby bonding, another life-saving essential for tiny newborns.

Za'riyah Johnson is the first baby to be treated at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center with NAVA. Born July 1, more than four months premature, she weighed just a pound and a half and fit in the palm of her mother's hand. Initially put on a ventilator breathing tube, she was taken off the ventilator last week and is now breathing spontaneously with assistance from NAVA. She is doing well and doctors estimate she may be able to go home as early as late October.

"I'm really glad that she's at Pomona Valley Hospital and was the first to use this new technology," said Za'riyah's mother, Margaret Lewis, 32. "It brought a sense of relief. The machine is giving her what she needs to keep breathing.  It's helped. She's growing. She's still fighting. And these are all good signs."

The hospital purchased the NAVA equipment with enhanced Bi-level CPAP capabilities through a grant awarded this year by the Will
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SOURCE Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center
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