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NICU Seeks Stories for 35th Anniversary

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The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Antelope Valley Medical Center is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, the hospital is looking for patient stories. Patients or parents of patients are encouraged to send stories and photos (NICU photo and current photo) to Submissions should include the patient’s name, submitter’s name (if different), phone number and patient’s birth year.

Since opening in 1984, the NICU provided lifesaving care for nearly 14,000 of the region’s tiniest and most vulnerable residents. The unit has grown from two small rooms to having 21 private rooms and a staff of 80 that includes nurses, occupational therapists, respiratory care practitioners, dieticians, pharmacists and social workers.

“The NICU provides a unique and vital resource to the Antelope Valley,” said Dr. Murugesa Thangavel, a neonatologist and medical director for the NICU, who has led the NICU since its inception. “It has been a privilege to earn the love and support of the community by providing quality care to our growing region.”

Approximately 10 percent of all births are premature. At AV Hospital those delicate babies are treated to a blend of high-tech and high-touch care delivered by UCLA board-certified neonatologists, like Dr. Thangavel. Because of this, infants as small as 1.5 pounds and as early as 23 weeks have the best possible chance at leading normal lives.