Newborns with high levels of bilirubin in their blood can now receive the treatment they need in a state-of-the-art Bilibed now available in the Glendale Adventist Maternity Center.
Prompted only by the willingness to improve their unit, the Maternity Center Social Committee headed by Jairy Moya, Claudia Gastelum, Ana Lopez and Nelda Lazo, RN, decided that they needed a Bilibed, a special unit that uses phototherapy to treat jaundice in newborns. “Besides planning fun activities for the nurses and staff in the Maternity Center, we always try to have a worthy project,” said Nelda. “We felt that this was something that could make our area better for staff and patients alike.”
During phototherapy treatment in a Bilibed, a baby is exposed to a special florescent light that is absorbed by the skin. This light helps change the bilirubin in the baby’s blood into a form that is more easily passed through the body. The special florescent lights are built in under the crib and shine up at the baby rather than down, allowing the baby to rest more comfortably and helping to avoid retinal damage. It also allows parents to continue to have contact with their baby during the treatment.
To raise money for the new Bilibed, the Maternity Center staff began a campaign, posting flyers, soliciting doctors and encouraging hospital staff to join the cause. Working with the Healthcare Foundation, it took the maternity nurses less than a year to raise the $2,300 necessary to purchase the Bilibed. It was dedicated in a special ceremony on April 29. “The teamwork seen here in Maternity is to be commended,” said David Burghart, president of the Healthcare Foundation. “This is the culmination of the personal investment of many people, and we are all inspired to see their hard work come to fruition.”
To learn more about bilirubin or infant jaundice, visit our Health Encyclopedia under the “Health Education” tab.
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