April 20, 2001

Reality television comes to VUMC

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center will be featured on The Learning Channel’s “Maternity Ward” April 22 at 7 p.m.

Titled “Little Bit of Faith,” the episode focuses on pregnant women who travel long distances to seek care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center – home of the world’s first neonatal intensive care unit. At the top-level childbirth center, medical professionals save hundreds of infants each year.

The episode features:

•Dr. Mary Haynes, a neonatalogist who searches for a heart rate on a newly delivered premature baby whose situation is further complicated; the family is placed with the possibility that both the exhausted mother and fragile son may need blood transfusions – a medical practice forbidden by their religious beliefs;

•Nurse Rebecca Bell, whose 23 years of experience and emotional support is called into action when a woman faces the birth of her second child, after the first died during an emergency C-section just one year prior;

•Dr. Bruce Beyer, known to staff as the “singing doctor,” whose bedside manner helps his patients cope with the hardships of childbirth.

The episode will air again on April 22 at 10 p.m. and April 28 at 5 p.m.