Kadlec Begins Expansion on Neonatal ICU - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kadlec Begins Expansion on Neonatal ICU

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Kadlec Regional Medical Center has begun construction on its redesigned Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

The hospital community tore into the old unit on Thursday, starting the process of expanding the NICU from 3000 to 15,000 square feet.

Kadlec says the remodel will give the hospital the ability to help more newborns stay closer to their families, by providing comfortable, private spaces while they're under the hospital's care.

"Preemies have a really hard time with noise," said Monica Perez. She and her husband spent 89 days in the NICU when their daughter Cartaleya was born almost one year ago. "How confined it is in here, you know, you can't talk a whole lot, you can't really communicate with each other, your other parent, and so I think this is definitely going to benefit future families."

Directors at Kadlec say instead of treating the critically ill babies in different parts of the hospital, the new unit will let the newborns all stay in one quiet and comfortable location.

The hospital says construction will wrap up by the end of next year.