Thursday, 27 October 2016 04:44

Curler’s legacy funds new equipment for infant care at Cypress Regional Hospital

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Registered nurses Ashley Schwartz (at left) and Mellisa Martens demonstrates the new Panda infant warmer in the Women's and Children's Health Services Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital, Oct. 20. Registered nurses Ashley Schwartz (at left) and Mellisa Martens demonstrates the new Panda infant warmer in the Women's and Children's Health Services Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital, Oct. 20.

The Women’s and Children’s Health Services Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital has acquired a new Panda infant warmer with funds from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, which was set up as a legacy to the Canadian curler.


Health-care staff provided a demonstration of the new infant warmer during a media event at the Women’s and Children’s Health Services Unit on Oct. 20.
“We’re extremely excited to have this new equipment on our floor,” Registered Nurse Ashley Schwartz said. “It allows us to provide very efficient quality care, consistent quality care, for all of our moms and their newborns.”
There are three labour and delivery rooms and a nursery in the the Women’s and Children’s Health Services Unit and as a result of this acquisition each room now has a Panda infant warmer.
“It’s very streamlined and we can have the same expectations with every delivery that the equipment can handle,” she said.
The Panda infant warmer keeps the infant warm and it has an integrated in-bed scale to weigh the baby in a quick and easy way.
“We can adjust the percentage of temperature to deliver radiant heat to the baby, and it will adjust the amount of heat that it’s providing to maintain temperature for the baby,” she said. “We can monitor its oxygen and pulse levels and adjust what we need to, based on what the machine is telling us.”
The warmer is also equipped to deliver resuscitation therapy to high-risk newborns in a precise way.
“It provides pressurized delivery of oxygen and breathing for the baby in a resuscitation scenario,” she explained “It allows us to provide consistent breaths with every delivery as opposed to previous methods where we were using a bag, where our hands were delivering the pressurized amount. This is consistent. Every time each breath is the same, decreasing the risk of pneumothorax and damage to a delicate newborn’s lungs.”
The Sandra Schmirler Foundation presented a cheque of $48,300 to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation during the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in March. The Sandra Schmirler Foundation requested the funds be used for infant care.
“This is a perfect example of our function, quite frankly,” Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Clay Thompson said. “We serve as a conduit from the donor to the health-care system.”
He noted the cost of the Panda infant warmer was around $40,000 and some other items will also be purchased.
“The support that the Schmirler Foundation gave to us was $48,300 and this unit was the lion’s share of that,” he said. “Then there are a couple of other smaller pieces that was purchased as part of that as well.”
Canadian curler Sandra Schmirler, who grew up in Biggar, Sask., was a three-time world curling champion and Olympic gold medalist. She died from cancer at the age of 36 in March 2000.
The Sandra Schmirler Foundation was created in January 2001 to recognize and celebrate her love of family. The foundation has donated funds to hospitals across Canada to purchase life-saving equipment for newborn intensive care units.

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Matthew Liebenberg

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