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Clean room and equipment provides new families comfortable, calming space

A newly added clean room and specialized equipment is providing new parents and their newborns a comfortable, calming space while receiving care on the Pediatrics Unit of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

The Pediatrics Unit recently installed a clean room and dedicated equipment to minimize the chance of spreading infections between patients while providing new families a private, comforting space while their newborn receives care.

Juanita Pilgrim, Manager of Pediatrics at the Health Centre, explains how the clean room was determined as a need for the Unit.

“The clean room came about because we had a few patients come in with one condition and have to come back again. While it’s not to say that it came directly from us, this was viewed as an opportunity to look at improvements that could be made to better the already great care provided on the Unit,” says Pilgrim, who’s been working on the Pediatrics Unit for the past 15 years. “Dr. Nyati, a local pediatrician, suggested providing a clean area for primarily breastfeeding moms, babies with feeding issues and jaundice babies who we want to keep from interacting with kids that have contagious illnesses.”

As part of the room, the Northern Lights Health Foundation funded two isolette incubators, two bili lights and two recliner beds needed for the newborn patients and their families.

The isolettes provide isolation and care of newborns in a controlled heat, humidity and oxygen environment.

“It keeps the baby in a warm, comfortable environment. It’s almost like they came out of the womb and now we’re putting them back in. It’s a safe space,” says Pilgrim. “The isolettes have a lot of capabilities, including temperature probes so that nurses don’t have to open it up continuously to check the baby’s temperature.”

Health care providers use bili lights on jaundice babies as a light therapy tool. Jaundice is a condition that makes a newborn’s skin and the white part of their eyes look yellow. It occurs when a baby’s body has more bilirubin that it can get rid of. Bilirubin is made when the body breaks down old red blood cells. The bili lights use a blue light, which converts bilirubin in the baby’s blood stream so it can leave their body.

The recliner beds provide new parents a comfortable place to sit and rest while their newborn receives care in the clean room.

The clean room in Pediatrics is not only beneficial for the health of the newborns receiving care, but also for the well-being of new parents.

“For new parents, having their new baby in the hospital can be devastating.” says Pilgrim. “Number one their new baby is in here and number two they’re in a room with somebody else, so having the clean room is nice for them. They get to have their own private space with their newborn and for new mummies, they can breastfeed in peace.”
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