Celebrating the NBICU: 50th Anniversary Event September 2018

Aug 21, 2018 9:30 AM

Borrowing & Begging to Build a NBICU

When it came to caring for the youngest and sickest patients, newcomer August Jung, MD, class of ’61, led the charge. With no budget for a neonatal intensive care unit, Jung forged ahead anyway, establishing the Mountain West region’s first NBICU in 1968. The unit was the only one of its kind between Denver and the West Coast and between Phoenix and Canada. Administrators bought equipment in small amounts or borrowed it from medical equipment companies and other areas of University Medical Center to supply the NICU with heart-rate monitors, ventilators, and other medical equipment.

Early in his career, Dr. Jung and his colleagues pioneered ventilators, automated analysis of blood gases, and developed new approaches to resuscitate babies,” said Edward B. Clark, MD, professor and chair of pediatrics at the University of Utah and a longtime friend and colleague of Jung’s. “He changed the lives of thousands of infants and their families.

When the one-room unit opened, the mortality rate was 15 deaths per 1,000 live births. Within a year, that mortality rate had been halved, and the unit had received its first patients via airplane and helicopter transport.

Photo caption:
Dr. Jung didn’t hesitate to pull out all the stops for his dream of a NBICU. At one point, he and his nurses sold doughnuts to raise the money to buy a heart monitor.

Photo credit:
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library

View highlights from the 50th Anniversary Event

View the full recording of the 50th Anniversary Event below.

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