Mother Defends Geisinger’s NICU After Recent Infant Deaths

UNION TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Speaking to us at her home near Shickshinny, Alicia Auman talked about the shaky moments after the birth of her three children.

“She was only 2 lbs, 9 oz. Yeah, she was tiny, 14 1/2 inches long,” said Auman.

Delivered prematurely, all three infants had to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville.

Auman says that time, especially for her second born, was touch and go.

“She wasn't breathing when she first came out. She just looked like a lifeless baby,” said Auman. “She had bleeding on the brain. She got a staph infection. Every time she started getting better, she went back downhill. Geisinger saved her.”

Geisinger's NICU is now under the national spotlight after hospital officials announced three babies died in the unit after a total of eight infants contracted a waterborne bacteria.

The other five are recovering, and Geisinger is planning to divert women who expect early deliveries to other area hospitals.

Auman says her heart is broken for all the families of the infected infants, knowing firsthand how they must be feeling.

“What am I going to do? Is she gone? Is she OK?” said Auman. “Is this the last time that I'm going to see her, except for going to her funeral?”

Auman says she's seen several negative comments being posted about Geisinger on social media, but she says the doctors at that NICU are miracle workers.

“Geisinger is a very good hospital. Every hospital has bad things happen, and it's not like Geisinger didn't try to do everything possible to stop it,” said Auman.

A hotline has been set up for people who have questions about the situation.

The hotline numbers are 570-214-9087 and 570-214-9088.

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