Dr. Gary Bell told members of the Civitan Club that miracles are performed daily at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
He said there are five physicians, three pediatric surgeons, 17 nurse practitioners and over 100 nurses caring for as many as 60 very sick babies on a daily basis.
Dr. Bell said the nurses are especially important. He said, "All have to be specially trained for about six months before they can be in there alone taking care of babies."
He said Children's is proud of the 97 percent survival rates for the very ill babies, including many born premature and exceedingly tiny.
He said in his tenure since moving to Chattanooga from Dyersburg, Tn., he has seen dramatic improvements in equipment the doctors and nurses use to treat the babies. These range from high-tech ventilators to IV drips that can measure the dosage to the inth degree.
The young patients come from all over the Chattanooga area and stretching up to near Murfreesboro and down halfway to Atlanta. Some are from Alabama.
He told the club, "These are the sickest babies in the work."
There were 136 transported to the hospital by air ambulance last year.
The speaker said Erlanger had 7,700 deliveries of babies last year and another 1,500 at Erlanger East.