Ultrasound scanning is used to assess gestational age, to screen for and detect abnormalities and to assess fetal well-being.
All women are scanned at booking and a detailed anomaly scan is later carried out at 18-20 weeks.
The Neonatal Unit currently maintains Level 2 of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine categories (BAPM), which consists of Special, High Dependency and Intensive Care.
Open access to the regional Neonatal Network is available for the stabilised Extremely Low Birth Weight baby who requires maximal Intensive Care.
The unit includes two Transitional Care beds which, in appropriate circumstances, limit separation of mother and baby. There is also accommodation for parents who are preparing to take their baby home.
Readmission to the unit has been extended to one month of age due to the inclusion of a dedicated isolation room with facility for Intensive care.
The service also supports care of the neonate in the community and in the Clenoch Ward in Stranraer.
The introduction of two Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners to the service will help to limit admissions to the Neonatal Unit and therefore prevent separation of mother and baby by having more highly trained staff available, when necessary, to care for the neonate in the Birthing and Maternity Suites. These practitioners can perform baby examinations and this will reduce the chance of a baby being discharged without the first check being carried out.
If possible, women that are likely to give birth before 30-32 weeks are transferred to Glasgow or Edinburgh where there are more specialised facilities available. However sometimes there is not enough time to transfer the mother before delivery and babies are born early in Cresswell. They are then assessed and if necessary transferred in a special incubator. This can be very stressful for the parents and where possible it is avoided. But if a baby is likely to require intensive care for a prolonged period of time transfer is necessary. When well enough these babies are brought back to Cresswell.
We have 2 Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. These midwives have undergone extra training and are able to take on a similar role to the junior doctor in the unit.