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"Peek-a-Boo" lets parents bond with newborns in NICU

At a Dallas hospital, a new technology is allowing parents to bond with their babies born prematurely and in an incubator.

CBS Station KTVT Dallas reported on Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas' implementation of cameras and microphones attached to 15 incubators in its neonatal intensive care unit--a system the hospital calls Peek-a-Boo. This allows parents to still be able to communicate with their newborns by watching them on a computer screen and talking to them through a headset microphone.

"I think we were all surprised at how much of a difference it seems to make," said Dr. Gerald Nystrom, the unit's medical director, who added the cameras cut down on foot traffic inside the NICU.

"We have to restrict visitation somewhat because of increased risk of infections in the community that we need to keep out of the NICU," Nystrom said. "This allows parents, siblings and other family members to still keep tabs of their little baby in the NICU."

Duncan Jones is one of the premature babies who is part of the Peek-a-Boo system. He was born 12 weeks early on Dec. 17, weighing just 2 pounds and 1 ounce. His mother Sunny said her baby can hear her voice better through the sound system than when she is standing next to the incubator.

"When we talk outside the incubator, it's just a muffled sound inside," she said.

Sunny hasn't been able to hold Duncan in her arms as of yet. Until then, the Peek-a-Boo system is enabling mother and child to stay connected.

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