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Video Spotlight

CBS Sunday Morning News takes a look at the University of Oklahoma Anesthesia Department and their use of the OU College Of Medicine's Clinical Skills Education & Testing Center.
CBS Sunday Morning News

OU Medicine News


Family of Quadruplets Gets Four Times the Peace of Mind Thanks to NICVIEW Camera System 

Oklahoma City- Oklahoma City — Welcoming a new baby to the world is full of emotion and excitement. But when those first days are spent in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), they can also be full of stress and anxiety.

Think of that times four. 

Leading the way in health care, The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center is the first and only hospital in Oklahoma to have the NICVIEW camera system—a high-tech streaming webcam system— bedside in the NICU, bringing peace of mind to families, especially those who are far away or who can’t be in the room for health reasons.

Jennifer and Zachary Pagel of Oklahoma City know firsthand how the camera system has relieved the anxiety of separation and helped them and their family bond with their newborn quadruplet sons currently in the NICU at Children’s. 

Declan, Harrison, Liam and Bennett were born at 29 weeks gestation on March 5, 2016. Their weights ranged from 2 pounds, 10 ounces to 3 pounds, 7 ounces. 

“Finding out about quads is exiting, terrifying and pure shock, said Zachary Pagel. “But once the fear subsides, you realize it’s manageable.” 

In 2014, there were 246 quadruplet births in the U.S. out of approximately 4 million births, according to federal data. 

Since nearly the beginning, the Pagel family has been using the web-based camera system to keep an eye on the boys’ progress when they have to be gone to go home and sleep or go to work.

“It’s the one way the entire family can all be together while the boys are still in the NICU,” Zachary Pagel said. 

Children’s is a regional referral center, so 40 percent of the nearly 1,200 babies a year that come to the Children’s NICU are transferred from other locations. NICVIEW usage shows that: of the more than 8,000 total logins in February 2016, many were from outside of Oklahoma City, ranging from Broken Arrow to Lawton in the state and to dozens of other states and even other countries.

Patricia Williams, a neonatologist with OU Children’s Physicians, said being in the NICU is stressful and often wrought with anxiety. The average stay for NICU babies is 20 days, but critically sick babies often stay longer.

“Often, babies are in the NICU for weeks, and it's extremely difficult and emotional for families to not be with the baby for any amount of time for any reason,” said Williams. “This helps bridge that, and can alleviate anxiety and even help bonding with distant family members or ones who can't visit.”

Zachary Pagel’s brother has used the NICVIEW feed to introduce his sons to their cousins. Even though the camera is only one way, they make faces at the babies and play with them while viewing the camera.

When little Harrison was ill, the Pagels could log in while away and check on his progress.

“You can call your nurse, but it’s always nice to see for yourself,” Zachary Pagel said. “You could see him improving while he was sick, and that was a huge comfort.” 

It also makes communicating with the family easier—everyone is curious about the boys and their progress, and friends and family the Pagel’s choose to give login information to can check on the boys via NICVIEW.  

Viewing of the baby’s intimate environment is protected by encrypted transmissions. Live streaming is only accessible to specified users using passwords issued by the NICU. No recordings are made and no images are stored. The web stream is viewable on computers and mobile devices, and caregivers in the NICU remain in control of video streaming at all times. 

As the quadruplets grow, their personalities start to shine—one brother is a little fussier than the others, Jennifer Pagel said. Sometimes they like to use their tiny fingers to latch on to their parent’s hands. 

“It’s so nice to know that when you can’t be here, you can at least check in,” Jennifer Pagel said.