September 12, 2022

NICU Newborns Receiving Enhanced Care Through JPCHF Grant

Your family has just welcomed a beautiful baby into the world, but as you’re holding them the medical team realizes something isn’t right with your baby’s breathing. Your newborn is whisked away to spend their first moments of life away from your arms and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The medical team determines your baby is potentially suffering from Respiratory Distress Syndrome or a collapsed lung, also known as pneumothoraces.

Adele Riehl, Manager of Nursing in the NICU department at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH), estimates that approximately 200 children born at JPCH are presented with the scenario above, or one similar to it, per year. When presented with such a scenario, the NICU team would order a chest x-ray however this is where the problems begin.

When doing chest x-rays for patients this small, not only was the team faced with a lengthy wait to have the procedure done but due to the complexity of the imaging, the detection rate of a collapsed lung or other respiratory issues was low. Due to this, the NICU team had few options other than to take the precautionary measure of inserting a chest tube into the child, a very painful procedure even for a newborn.

With the grant from Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation (JPCHF) Adele and her team found a way to better assist the newborns and their families during this very timely situation, by introducing the Lumify L 12-4 Transducer.

“Instead of wondering if a pneumothorax [collapsed lung] is to blame when a neonate has worsening respiratory status and having to wait for an x-ray that may or may not provide an answer, we now just check for a pneumothorax ourselves with the much more accurate Lumify lung ultrasound transducer,” said Adele on the benefits of the Lumify L 12-4 Transducer.

Because of the grant from JPCHF, Adele and her team have been able to take patient care into their own hands. This has led to a reduced length of stay and lessened the mortality risk of our patients.

“The Lumify transducer is saving [Saskatchewan children’s] lives and saving money,” explained Adele.

It’s with your donations that Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation can provide grants like these to the NICU department to advance the care of our patients across the province. Make a donation to help transform maternal and children’s health care in Saskatchewan today.

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