National Nurses Week

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 17, 2018) Lt. Amy Moore, a Navy reserve nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Multi-Service Unit, readies an IV for use. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)



In observance of National Nurses Week, a big thank you to the dedicated U.S. Navy nurses around the world for all their hard work providing care, and the important roles they play not only for military service members and their families, but also for all people in need!


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 14, 2017) Kim Baughman, a registered nurse at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville maternal infant unit, checks a newborn’s reflexes. Nurses Week is May 6-12, celebrating nurses who lead the charge for health and wellness. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released)

MAYPORT, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2016) Capt. Mary White, a nurse practitioner at Naval Branch Health Clinic (NBHC) Mayport’s Pediatrics clinic, examines a child experiencing cold symptoms. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 9, 2019) Ensign Pauline Gachalian hands a newborn boy to his mother, Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Smith, at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Maternal Infant Unit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Sippel/Released)

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 3, 2018) Lt. Allison Christ, left, an intensive care unit registered nurse at Naval Medical Center Balboa in San Diego, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brittanie Haring right,, a native of Massillon, Ohio, place a chest tube in a simulated patient using augmented reality glasses as part of a tele-medical training exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2018) Ensign Michelle Araya, a registered nurse, checks on Cpl. Nicholas Digregorio and his wife as they hold their newborn twin girls at Naval Hospital Jacksonville. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 17, 2018) Lt. Amy Moore, a Navy reserve nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Multi-Service Unit, readies an IV for use. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 29, 2018) Lt. j.g. Wesley Limberg, a registered nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Labor and Delivery unit, asks Carolina Wilson questions about her pregnancy. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (April 23, 2018) Nurses assigned to the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) give reports on incoming patients during a mass casualty drill. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams/Released)


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National Nurses Week

Military Surgical Staff Perform Groundbreaking Prenatal Surgery

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By Seaman Pyoung K. Yi – Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs

A team of doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen perform an ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure on mother Alina Bardos and her son Charlie in the main operating room at Naval Medical Center San Diego. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr.)

A team of doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen perform an ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedure on mother Alina Bardos and her son Charlie in the main operating room at Naval Medical Center San Diego. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr.)

Surgeons at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) performed a revolutionary medical procedure known as Ex-utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) Feb. 27.

An EXIT procedure is performed for a fetus at critical risk for airway obstruction at birth. The goal of the procedure is to secure an airway for the fetus to allow routine neonatal resuscitation afterward.

Cmdr. (Dr.) Matthew Brigger, NMCSD’s Pediatric Otolaryngologist and Residency Program Director Otolaryngology Department, Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Whitney You, head of maternal fetal medicine, staff nurses and hospital corpsmen successfully performed the EXIT procedure on Alina Bardos, 26, wife of Marine Sgt. Brandon Bardos, assigned to Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay, and her infant son, Charlie.

“On the surface, the procedure is a C-section where the fetus is partially delivered for airway management,” said Brigger. “In reality, the procedure is a highly-coordinated effort involving the expertise of the pediatric otolaryngology, maternal fetal medicine, pediatric anesthesia and obstetrical anesthesia teams.”

It was the first time an EXIT procedure had been performed in NMCSD’s history, and one of the few times the procedure has been performed at a Department of Defense medical facility.

“The hospital in general, we view ourselves as being a top-tier academic institution,” said Brigger. “Procedures like this are what is done at high-level places that provide the highest level of care. From our standpoint, this is something we expect to be able to do.”

The EXIT procedure required an unprecedented number of medical personnel, and a handful of teams, to carry out the surgery.

“We’ve never had to work with four or five teams at a time,” said You. “We learned the power of a team, how to communicate as a team, and how amazing we can be if we put our minds together and accomplish a task.”

According to Brigger, an EXIT procedure is rarely performed. This type of surgery is uncommon and few medical establishments have the requisite specialists and coordination abilities to accomplish such a complex procedure.

Months before the surgery, the Bardos’ infant, Charlie, was found through imaging to have severe micrognathia, or an extremely small jaw. This condition meant Charlie was at critical risk for airway obstruction at birth.

“The degree of micrognathia presented a significant airway management challenge,” said Brigger. “In my opinion, without proper planning, this child would’ve been placed at an unacceptable mortality risk at birth.”

Prior to the procedure, the medical team met with Brandon and Alina, informed them in detail about the surgery and advised them on what to expect.

“We were able to have plenty of time to sit with the family and work through the issues,” said Brigger. “We discussed our findings, how we expected things to happen and what would be the different alternatives.”

Alina and Brandon, who already have two children, were a bit distressed upon initially hearing the news about their unborn son’s condition and the surgery he would have to endure.

“Everybody expects a healthy baby and to have a healthy child,” said Brandon. “It took me about two weeks to come to terms with it. It was pretty surreal.”

“We had a lot of family support that made it easier to deal with,” added Alina.

Although the EXIT procedure was a success, Charlie, who was born at 35 weeks gestation, still has some long-term medical conditions to overcome. But the future is looking considerably brighter for the Bardos family, whose infant son’s success thus far is owed to the dedication of the various medical personnel who have cared for him at NMCSD.

“This is a premier hospital,” said Brigger. “By being able to do a procedure such as this, it allows us to continue to deliver state of the art care in everything that we do.”

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