University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Procedures in new hybrid operating room help newborn overcome a rough start

Minutes after his birth at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, doctors recognized Gabriel Kampka was struggling for his life. His appearance was ashen, his heart was racing, his blood pressure was low, and his belly was distended. He would need intensive neonatal care and a team of pediatric specialists to figure out what was going wrong.

At just a few hours old, Gabriel was transferred to the American Family Children’s Hospital and admitted to its new Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). There, doctors were able to utilize the hospital’s new hybrid operating room, which allows for surgery and imaging procedures in the same place. This is the only facility of its kind in North America. Pediatric surgeon Peter Nichol, MD, PhD, removed a twisted portion of Gabriel’s bowel, and pediatric interventional cardiologist Luke Lamers, MD, performed a heart catheterization. One of the benefits of being able to do multiple procedures in one room is it requires the patient to undergo anesthesia only once.

Gabriel’s parents would later learn their son was born with cystic fibrosis, a condition that often causes intestinal problems in newborns, and a heart condition that will need to be addressed when he is older. But after nearly three months in the hospital, Gabriel’s family finally got to take him home.

Health reporter David Wahlberg covered Gabriel’s story in “After baby’s rough start, parents glad he’s home,” which ran in the January 7, 2015, issue of the Wisconsin State Journal. UW Health also featured Gabriel’s story on its website in the article “Baby Gabriel: Storming Back After a Rough Start.”