The littlest patients at Victoria General Hospital are receiving some of the best medical care on the Island thanks to a donation from a local group.
The Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary recently donated more than $6,000 from its annual Poinsettias for Patients program to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
Funds raised during the November campaign went towards the purchase of a biliblanket for the View Royal hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“We are business-oriented and serious about making money for the hospital,” said auxiliary president Valerie Smith.
The biliblanket blanket is wrapped around jaundiced babies and provides continuous photo therapy as a fibre optic light shines from the blanket onto the skin of the baby, helping to reverse the condition. Using this, mothers are able to hold their babies. Prior to having the blankets, nurses would use a overhead photo therapy light, which was often uncomfortable for the babies and didn’t allow parents to hold them.
This is the fourth blanket the auxiliary has purchased for the unit.
“The impact that these units have is very broad and very vital to keeping our babies healthy,” said Gillian Kozinka, a long-time neonatal nurse and current manager of neonatal and perinatal services.
The donation has helped mothers such as Carly Taylor.
Taylor, who is from Quadra Island, gave birth to her first child – a baby girl – last Friday. The baby (her parents have not yet settled on a name) was born about a month premature and was in respiratory distress. The family was then airlifted to VGH, where she’s been receiving oxygen and pressure therapy to help her lungs function properly. The baby was also wrapped in the biliblanket for the past two days to help with her jaundice.
“It’s just been amazing to be able to have her receive the therapy, but still be able to connect with her as a mom … that’s huge,” Carly said. “She has been responding really well to the therapy. Each day she’s a little bit better and obviously as a new mom, that’s fantastic.”
In addition, $55,000 of funds raised through sales in the hospital gift shop, and Purdy’s chocolate sales in the hospital’s concourse, was also used to buy a new intubating scope for emergencies in the unit.
The auxiliary, which is also celebrating its 35th year, donates more than $200,000 annually to the hospital to purchase medical equipment, plants for the cafeteria and push chairs.