Anticipated Nutrition Technology Will Heal Kids Faster

Ensuring proper nutrition for Saskatchewan children will soon become easier, safer and more efficient at the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. A new testing tool called Indirect Calorimetry (IC) will be a key method for keeping little patients healthy inside and out.

IC is a non-invasive testing procedure that will make it easier for medical staff to get a more reliable nutrition reading when a child is recovering from illness or injury. The procedure is done by measuring calories burned indirectly by measuring the oxygen a child breathes in, and the carbon dioxide they breathe out.

Pediatric Dietitian Casey Napper said she is most impressed by the fact that she will be able to accurately measure a child’s calories needed in a completely individualized way.

“Indirect calorimetry will take the guesswork out of my job and allow me to provide better quality, individualized nutrition prescriptions to our young patients,” said Napper. “Research has shown that doing so positively affects hospital stay length, infection and complication rates, and morbidity and mortality outcomes.”

Proper nutrition is an important part of the healing process, but hospitalized children may burn calories differently due to factors such as sedation, muscle relaxants or the increased stress of illness. IC is considered to be a current need that will bring Saskatchewan in line with other western children’s hospitals including those in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Napper also noted that there is potential to use this equipment in pediatric nutrition research. As health care providers become more comfortable with the equipment and discover new patients that can benefit from the procedure, children with chronic medical conditions that alter nutritional needs can look forward to better care coming to Saskatchewan. IC is one of thousands of new equipment pieces being funded by the “We Are Saskatchewan” Capital Campaign.

“As we build towards a world-class centre of maternal and pediatric excellence, providing top-level care for our children and support for our medical staff is something we strongly support,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Nutrition means everything to little bodies to ensure they are on the right track, and we know that this technology will positively impact the way our children and families are cared for.”

If you want to make a major gift to support Indirect Calorimetry at the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, please contact our Foundation office at 306-931-4887.

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