Vindicator Logo

AKRON Team is in place for Ohio sextuplets

Monday, January 26, 2004

Meetings have been held for weeks to prepare for the multiple births.
AKRON (AP) -- A team of at least 33 doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, respiratory therapists and X-ray technicians has been assembled to deliver Ohio's first sextuplets by late February.
Jennifer Hanselman, 29, of nearby Cuyahoga Falls, plans to deliver at Akron General Medical Center. The babies then will be handed over to a new team of caregivers at Akron Children's Hospital.
Level of nervousness
"If you're not nervous, you're foolish," said Dr. Anand Kantak, Children's director of neonatology, which deals with the medical care of infants. "There's a healthy level of nervousness you have to have. A healthy nervous tension. What you don't want is adrenaline excitement."
Staffers at Akron General and Children's have been meeting regularly for weeks preparing for the births.
Hanselman is in her 23rd week of pregnancy and is hospitalized on bed rest. Her doctors hope she can make it to at least 25 weeks -- when each baby's chance of survival is about 50 percent -- but would prefer the 90 percent survival rate for those born at 28 weeks.
"The further we get, the better it is for the babies," said Dr. Justin Lavin, Akron General's chief of maternal fetal medicine. "It's a touch-and-go situation. We're all optimistic ... but we're aware of the risks."
Avoid confusion
Akron General hopes to avoid delivery room confusion by assigning to each baby a team of two nurses and one neonatologist.
Each baby, and each team assigned to the child, will be color-coded. All the equipment needed for each baby -- tubes, vials and caps -- will be color-coded, matched to the color on the caregiver name tags.
Once the delivery process begins by Caesarean section, the babies will come about two per minute.
The color-coding -- blue, yellow, green, red, pink and black -- will help each team focus on its baby, said Cathy Lutz, director of the special care nursery at Akron General.
"The colors give each baby an identity, so we know this stuff belongs to this baby," she said. "Each baby, each team has its own color, so the team knows who to look for. If I'm red, I can zone out anybody else who's not red."
Guiding principal
The guiding principle is that each baby is to be treated as an individual. "Each baby has a distinct identity," Kantak said. "Not all things get done on every baby."