MAYWOOD, Ill. - A recent $250,000 grant from the Tellabs Foundation of Naperville, Ill., will help address the needs of tiny patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital at Loyola University Medical Center.
“Education, technology and health care are our funding priorities. Put that together with Loyola’s outstanding reputation in neonatal care and it was a win/win to award this grant,” said Meredith Hilt, executive director of the foundation.
A major portion of the Tellabs Foundation grant will be used to purchase specially designed Giraffe® Omnibeds at a cost of approximately $38,000 each. The remainder will fund the purchase of precise syringe pumps at a cost of $3,000 each.
The Omnibeds provide uniform radiant heat and humidity control that mimics the womb environment; an integrated scale for monitoring weight; a rotating mattress; four portholes that facilitate care while maintaining temperature and humidity; an integrated X-ray cassette tray; and height controls to facilitate both care and nurturing. The syringe pumps allow a large filled syringe to be fitted into a pump, which can deliver smooth, accurate infusions of less than 0.5 mL (one-tenth of a teaspoon) per hour if needed.
“One of our greatest challenges in caring for preemies is the need for specialized equipment like this,” said Marc Weiss, MD, the NICU’s medical director. “It might seem obvious, but even many medical professionals don’t stop to think about how the patient’s size affects everything. Standard issue equipment just doesn’t work for a child who weighs 9.2 ounces."
With the vision of benefactors like Tellabs Foundation, Loyola plans to continue its record of exemplary care for some of the Chicago area’s tiniest patients.