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NICU babies at UT Medical Center move into upgraded, private rooms

The new area will add 30 beds and individual rooms in the NICU.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Oh baby! UT Medical Center opened a brand new NICU section in the hospital on Tuesday.

The new area will add 30 beds and individual rooms in the NICU.

It's an upgrade from the older, open-bay concept, where multiple beds were in one large room. The rooms have sound-dampening floors, ceilings, and paint. It also has couches so parents can stay with the baby for longer periods of time. 

UT said studies show individual rooms help babies and families heal quicker, so they are excited about the improvement.

"This way it enables families to be together and stay together. Siblings can visit, we can have parents that stay all night if they just feel that that's best," said UTMC NICU Director Dr. Mark Gaylord.

The babies were officially placed in the rooms Tuesday morning.

UT Medical Center is not the only hospital in Knoxville with individual rooms.

East Tennessee Children's Hospital is also equipped with individual NICU rooms.

Both are level three NICUs meaning they can care for very small and very sick newborns.

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