Transport incubator saves lives in Franklin

Mission Health Women's Center at Angel Medical Center in Franklin's portable incubator. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

When Sarah Owens gave birth to her third son, Benaiah, this past autumn, it was frighteningly different.

"His breathing was not where it needed to be, so he needed some additional support," Owens recalled.

Fortunately, the Mission Health Women's Center at Angel Medical Center in Franklin has a portable incubator.

"Having equipment like this is essential if you're going to provide all the needs a compromised or sick baby requires," Women's Services Nurse Manager Roberta Bowles said.

"I was surprised when I came out, and there was a cannula and an IV coming out of his arm.," Owens remembered.

"The transport Isolette is essential for getting the baby from the delivery room to the nursery so that we can provide warmth, heat and oxygen in the transport process," Bowles said.

Even though he weighed more than 8 pounds, Benaiah was moved in an incubator by ambulance to Mission Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit in Asheville, where his lungs further developed.

"He now weighs 20 pounds at 3 months old," Owens said. "He's been given a clean bill of health and doesn't show any signs of any kind of respiratory problem. He's going to be a typical child we can enjoy and just add to our family."

That's because he had immediate oxygen and warmth because of a transport incubator strategically placed in a rural area.

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