LANCASTER — The Antelope Valley Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) recently marked 30 years of service to the community.
AVH also recognized the NICU’s Medical Director, Murugesa Thangavel, M.D., a neonatologist who has been caring for the Antelope Valley’s tiniest patients since the NICU opened in 1984.
The care a baby receives during the “golden hour” makes a difference later on, according to Thangavel. “If a baby with special needs is cared for well immediately after birth, the outcome tends to be a lot better,” Thangavel siad. “I am glad we can provide this level of service to newborns locally.”
Thangavel has watched with pride as the NICU has grown from two small rooms when it opened into its own wing with 21 licensed beds and 15 Giraffe Omnibeds today.
“I applaud Dr. Thangavel for his dedication to his patients and service to Antelope Valley Hospital,” said Dennis Knox, AVH Chief Executive Officer. “He has helped thousands of babies when they needed it most.”
The level 3b NICU in the Women and Infants Pavilion has an average daily census of 19 and a staff of 92. The national rate of preterm births is 12% of all live births, while AVH’s rate is 9%.
More than 12,500 babies have been cared for in the NICU over the past 30 years.