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Holiday Giving

  
  
  

  As winter has arrived, people struggle with outrageous heat bills and the holidays growing nearer. People should not have to choose whether they want to keep their families warm or get groceries for the month but unfortunelty, with the way that things are going, that is just the way some are forced to live. It is a constant struggle all over the world and some of the only ways for people to stay standing are community organizations; without them, people would freeze, go hungry or be without shelter in the peak of winter. 

There adownloadre thousands of charities and/or donation sites around the world, each one offering different ways to help struggling communities. With the holidays just around the corner, people are having troubles making ends meet. By simply making just one donation to any organization, you will be changing someone’s holiday this year.

Local food banks are some of the biggest supporters of local communities during the holidays and are a huge part of people’s everyday lives as well. Making simple donations of food to your local food bank you are not only helping the local families, but the struggling food banks as well. Because the demands of food increase around the holidays, this time of year pantries struggle the most . Donating is as easy as asking pantries what they need or even making a cash donation so they can go get the food themselves. If you aren’t able to donate money or food, volunteering your time is just as good. In 2011, 64.3 million Americans donated 7.9 billion hours of community service, equal to $171 billion worth of paid work. Working at soup kitchens, pantries or delivering for Meals on Wheels is equally as important. Call or venture down to your local food bank or even religious establishments, who also play a big part in community support during the holidays, for more information. They provide free overnight shelter when temperatures drop, serve daily meals as well as holiday meals.
Troops over-sea, hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, Children’s Organizations, Fire Stations, and participating local retailers all need the support during the holiday season. Hospitals employ roughly 1 in 3 nonprofit (volunteer) workers. By all coming together as a community, we can make families seasons more cheerful and even send to families over-seas with the Operation Homefront: “Supporting Our Troops and Helping the Families They Leave Behind”. 

There are so many charieties people can help support all across America:

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Operation Homefront:  http://www.operationhomefront.net/

Make-A-Wish Foundation of America:      www.wish.org/

Humans Helping Humans: Humans Helping Humans Organization

Mariah Charities: Taking Heed to God's Whispers

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

Samarian’s Purse: http://www.firstgiving.com/samaritanspurse

St. Vincent De Paul: https://www.svp.ie/donate/single-donation-step-1.aspx

You might be looking to help a specific organization for holiday giving and with the following link to the Charity Navigator, you are able to choose from all kinds of great helping hands. Charity Navigator is an independent American nonprofit corporation that evaluates charities in the United States and can help you to decide which organization is best for you.

Charity Navigator linkYour Guide to Intelligent Giving

 

Batkid Saves San Francisco

  
  
  

 

  1384548792001 AP Boy s Batman WishMiles Scott, who lives in Tuelake in far California, just south of the Oregon border, was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 18 months old. Treatment ended and he went into remission in June; not before he informed the Make-A-Wish foundation that his greatest dream was to become Batman, The Caped Crusader, for one day. Being the gracious foundation they are, Make-A-Wish granted him his dream of being Batman. Along with the foundation, the entire city of San Francisco came together to put on a wonderful reenactment for this brave young boy.

 An estimated 7,000 enthusiastic locals volunteered on Friday, November 15th, turning San Francisco into Gotham City, allowing Miles to jump into action saving a damsel in distress, prevented the Riddler form robbing a bank and rescued the San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou the Seal, from the villain Penguin. Batman and Batkid sprang into action, with the aid of a trampoline, as the crowd roared. They rescued the woman and disabled a plastic replica bomb she was tied to. In order to make the whole act realistic, the justice department issued a formal indictment against the Riddler and Penguin, taking them both into custody.

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Miles, aka Batkid, and Batman were transported around the city in a black Lamborghini, the side labeled with the bat symbol. Patricia Wilson, the executive director for Make-A-Wish in the greater Bay Area stated, "I think it might be the first time a Lamborghini had a booster seat”.

 Miles' parents were so touched by the amount of generosity toward their 5-year-old, they have decided to be partnered with the San Francisco 49ers to start a nonprofit, The Batkid Fund, which aims to help other parents whose children are fighting serious diseases. Donations to the fund will be funneled back to the Make-a-Wish Greater Bay Area and to two Oregon organizations that helped Miles and his family during his illness: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington where the family stayed in 2010.

Click here to view whole story: Batkid Saves San Francisco

Johnson & Johnson's Amazing Nurses 2013

  
  
  

“From in-home profGloriaKessional caregiverto Emergency  Room specialists and military  medical service personnel,  nurses make an impact on  our lives every day. In  celebration of their  dedication, we want to  highlight Amazing Nurses who  make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you. Nurses take care of and heal so many of us.” - Johnson & Johnson                              

 Every year Johnson & Johnson seek out an award worthy nurse who deserves to be recognized for their selfless acts and unbelievable ability to care. Nominated by Stacy McAllister, this year that award went to Gloria Kindzeka, RN from Hiawatha Home Care in Coon Rapids, MN.

Stacy McAllister submitted this inspiring story about the love and compassion Gloria showed her and her daughter Kate: “After a 41-day stay in the NICU, our daughter Kate was finally able to make the transition from hospital to home. That's also when Nurse Gloria came to work full-time in our home. We knew that Gloria was special from that very first night when she sang to my daughter and held her lovingly through the night. At first, she provided overnight nursing, but when my daughter's condition necessitated a shift to daytime nursing, Gloria rearranged her life to not only help Kate make a smooth transition to days but also to stay with her. Once—it was just ten days after finally returning home—Gloria noticed a change in Kate's vitals and behavior, and urged us to take Kate to the hospital. To our surprise, Kate had to have a shunt immediately placed in her brain for hydrocephalus—had we waited she could have had brain damage. Another time, Kate came home from the hospital and didn't look well, so Nurse Gloria watched her through the night, administering emergency medications and doing everything possible to keep Kate from another trip to the hospital. She has loved her and cared for her above and beyond her nursing duties.”

Gloria Kindzeka, RN

When interviewed by Nursing Notes on September 27th, 2013 Gloria stated, “It’s just knowing that you can make a difference in someone’s life. Just knowing that the nursing care you give to this child really helps the child, the transition that you give to this child. You know how you watch your child who was told in the hospital that will never walk. Because of the little therapies that you did, change everything. They were able to eat. They were told they would never eat before. The change you see is very rewarding. I always thought before it’s the outcome, the outcome of what you do because you see a progress, you see a change in this child and then the smile.”

View the full video here:

Gloria Kindzeka, RN - The 2013 Amazing Nurse

Are Premature Babies Worth Fighting For?

  
  
  

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Photo by Lindsay Mgbor/Department for International Development

I don’t even know where to start. I’m feeling rather confused and frustrated over this particular subject. I’m hoping that writing my thoughts down will help me reach some sort of conclusion. The contents of this blog have been on my mind for a whole week. I’m troubled and just need to speak up. Who knows who is gonna read this but if you do, I hope you understand.

Every once in a while there are certain topics that float around on the internet; they gather a following and a ton of people comment on them. People share or create content surrounding whatever a particularly topic is at the time. This week, starting on Monday, I’ve seen a lot of blogs, articles and facebook posts regarding the “worth” or “quality of life” when it comes to premature babies. Normally when I read about topics online, I keep my opinion off the world-wide-web. However, this particular topic has me all fired up; I’ve been thinking about it for days and I have to say something.

Are premature babies worth it? Are they worth it? Is trying to save a life worth it? I don’t know how to answer this question other than, “Yeah, to me they are worth it.” Who is to decide whether or not a human being is worth trying to save based on their circumstances of coming into the world? As I look at all of the precious photographs online of babies born too early and how they’ve grown into amazing young adults or children, I just cannot comprehend them being not “worth it” or those families being without their children, how devastating. As far as the precious photographs I've ve seen of babies who don't make it home to their families, If that was me, I would want to know that the hospital staff did everything they could do to at least TRY to help my baby survive.

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Photo by TomMarkhamPhotographer flickr.com

Are premature babies worth going through all the trouble, all the money, all the time and energy? Are premature babies worth fighting for? What if parents and families go to great lengths to keep their premature baby alive and he or she ends up dying anyway or living the rest of their life with complications or disabilities? I have to ask: What is SO scary about disabilities that someone would think a life isn’t worth saving? I am in no way saying that having a child with disabilities is an easy path to walk but what life path isn’t difficult? If every life path is difficult, then why isn’t every life worth trying to save?

Can I also say that we are ALL disabled in one way or another:

·         Emotionally

·         Mentally

·         Physically

·         Spiritually

Whether or not we’ve been diagnosed, there are areas in each and every one of our lives that we struggle with, have complications with, have a “disability.” Does that mean that all of our lives aren’t worth living? Who is to say if a life someone lives is a worth-while, fulfilling life? What does “quality of life” even mean? What about the children who are born full term with no diagnosed disabilities but their parents abuse them, or they live in poverty and don’t get a meal every day or they are severely bullied at school, does that mean those children shouldn’t live because their quality of life might be “low.” I’m just having trouble tracking and understanding the concept of hearing people ask, “Why go through all the trouble to help a premature baby live if their life is going to be very difficult on them and their parents?”

What about children who have not been diagnosed with a disability and cause their parents a lot of money, grief and energy because of their lifestyle choices? Does that mean their life isn’t worth living? Life is hard. Being a parent is hard. Whether your child has been diagnosed with disabilities or not. But we all seem to adapt somehow (some better than others). I just don’t get it. Why not use the amazing technology we have today to give all premature babies a fighting chance. We’ve come so far in this industry and it seems insulting to contemplate not helping a baby to live, at least see if they respond or not.

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Photo by {| h.e.a.t.h.e.r. |} via flickr.com

I get it. I know it’s a difficult decision to make: keeping the machines on, or not. Again, I am not dismissing the difficulty of it all; I am merely addressing the question of whether or not attempting to help a premature baby live is “worth it.”

In reality (and as a side note), I don't believe it's us that decide whether a baby lives or dies. Doctors, nurses, therapists and specialists may do everything they can, or know how to do, and a patient can still die. Or they may decide to do nothing and a patient lives. People tend to think that they have the power to decide to keep someone alive or not. IT’S NOT UP TO THEM. The true fate lies in the hands of someone much more powerful than us.

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There. I don’t feel 100% better but I feel better having written this down, I got it on paper and I shared it. Maybe now my mind will relax about the issue. Maybe not. Either way, I believe in the industry that I am a part of and I will work every day, doing my part to help the world’s smallest patients live another day and have hope for a better tomorrow.


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Written by Lesli Lucier, Marketing Intern at Beevers Medical Solutions

9 Reasons Why Neonatal Nurses Are AWESOME.

  
  
  

 

Nurse and Baby Pic from flickr

Photo by: Official U.S. Navy Imagery via flickr.com

I am completely new to the NICU world; so new that I’ve never stepped foot inside one. However, for the past year I’ve had the amazing pleasure of working for a company that manufactures products for the world’s smallest patients. My time here at Beevers Medical Solutions has been spent learning  A LOT about the NICU, premature babies, parents of premature babies/special needs children and about neonatal nursing. Every day I am inundated with blogs, websites and facebook posts all about journeys and experiences in the NICU. I gotta say, I don’t think I could do it. I don’t think I have the emotional reserve to be a neonatal nurse. Not to mention that I’ve never been to medical school and I’ve never worked for a hospital. I have a degree in Theatre which (for me) means I never took a biology class past 101. So more power to ya, neonatal nurses! You have my 100% support and respect.

Even though I’ve never been a neonatal nurse, I AM a mother and I know what it means to nurture a child. I know what it feels like to be proud of small victories and to be there no matter what. It’s been a privilege to work for BMS. This company is comprised of a group of people doing their part to make a difference in the world. And that’s what I believe neonatal nurses do every day. So, I wanted to write down my thoughts, things that I’ve learned about neonatal nurses and why I am so in awe of the work they do. I respect it. I look up to it. And just want to say thanks.

 

1. Warm, Dark, Quiet. Babies in the NICU generally like things to be warm, dark and quiet. From what I can tell, nurses do the best they can to maintain this atmosphere for their patients. As much as they can let their babies “just be,” the better. That doesn’t mean they don’t check on them regularly and make adjustments to their care as needed but neonatal nurses allow their patients as much time as possible to be left in a warm, dark and quiet environment. I’ve read a lot about “cluster care.” Cluster care (for those that don’t know) is a type of care that allows for most procedures and/or tests to be done all at once, eliminating repetitive interrupting of a baby’s sleep cycle. If a baby is interrupted minimally throughout the day then he will have the maximum time for sleeping, healing, and growing. Neonatal nurses take this into consideration and do their best to make sure this type of care happens for all of their patients. How wonderful.

2. Listen. Babies make different sounds when they need different things. If you pay attention, a person can distinguish between a “Hungry Cry” and a “I Need Some Love Cry.” All babies have a different cry for each need they have so it may take some practice. Eventually you’ll be able to know what your baby needs, purely based on the sound of their cry. Neonatal nurses have an incredible knack for this. They “just know” when their patient needs something. The ears of a neonatal nurse are always open, listening for alarms, or hospital announcements so it’s no surprise that their ears are tuned in to what their patients need at any given part of the day. Way to go nurses.

3. Watch. Babies give visual cues when they need something. For example, a hungry baby will put his hand up to his mouth or move his open mouth from side to side, searching for something to latch on to. If you watch closely, you can tell when a baby is hungry long before he cries. If a baby is uncomfortable he may purse his lips or squeeze his eyes shut (a sign that he may be in pain or does not like surrounding stimuli). These visual cues are called “early cues.” Crying is actually a late sign of a need not being met. Throughout your day, if you watch for a baby’s visual cues (something I practiced a lot with my son), you’ll be able to meet his needs before he even makes a sound. Neonatal nurses are constantly checking on their patients. They check to make sure temperature probes are secured in place, nasal prongs are in place, diapers are clean, the list goes on and on. They are always watching their patients. They can learn pretty quickly the visual cues that their patients give them so they can preemptively meet their needs. Very impressive.

4. Pay attention. Babies are communicating with us all the time. It is the responsibility of neonatal nurses to pay attention to the language each of their patients is speaking. Babies communicate through the way they respond to different situations or stimuli. When neonatal nurses pay attention to how their patients respond during activities, or to different ways of being held or touched, it is possible to know if a baby likes something or not. One way is by paying attention to their patient’s heart rate and/or blood pressure. If a baby’s heart rate or blood pressure goes up or down, or he is panicky and restless, odds are he probably doesn’t like what he is experiencing. By figuring out things that he doesn’t like, and then figuring out what he does like, neonatal nurses quickly find that calming him down becomes a lot easier. For example, if a nurse knows her patient doesn’t like getting his diaper changed and he becomes stressed, she’ll know that after a diaper change she will need to follow-up with something that soothes him, like singing to him or holding him. Neonatal nurses listen, watch and pay attention to their patients and their patients thank them for understanding what they are trying to say. How cool.

5. Learn. Learning about their patients (the things they like and don’t like) helps neonatal nurses to give the care their patients want. By being attentive to a baby’s visual cues and learning the sounds of different cries, nurses have the opportunity to learn a lot about their patients. NICU babies get core team nurses so the sharing of information becomes crucial. Example: It’s important that all of a patient’s nurses understand he doesn’t like teddy bears (if he doesn’t like teddy bears). Neonatal nurses keep their eyes and ears open and learn the languages of their patients. There’s a lot to learn about each baby, their individual situation and the specific care they are receiving in the NICU. Learning each of the situations is very valuable and comes in handy when talking with the family or deciding what is next in line for the baby’s care. Learning about each patient helps nurses get to know them individually and creates a bond and a relationship that helps the nurses give the best care possible. Amazing.

6. Talk with the family. When you are caring for a baby that came too early or a baby that is faced with a lot of complications, their family needs a lot of support. The birthing experience may not have gone exactly as planned and the parent(s) and family could be in extreme emotional distress. Neonatal nurses talk with the family of the little ones; this does wonders for the morale around the unit. The nurses personalize the care they are giving by using their patient’s name: “Jared had a great night.” Vs. “He had a great night.” If a family believes that you truly have their best interest in mind and the best interest for their baby, they may find it easier to relax and believe that they are in good hands. Families of children in the NICU oftentimes feel scared, isolated, confused and possibly angry. Nurses talk in quiet, calm tones and explain what they are doing and how they are doing it; this helps the family to feel included and not so alone. Involving parents in feedings, diaper changes, bathing and any other procedures will also help them to feel like they're involved in the care of their baby and not just sitting on the sidelines watching someone else care for their child. So great.

7. Care for them as if they were your own. As a mother, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that your baby is in the hands of someone that not only knows what they are doing but who also cares about your child and is doing the absolute best for them (most comforting and safest way possible). Neonatal nurses care for their patients as if they were their own. This allows them to have a certain sensitivity to what they are doing. It also allows the opportunity for the parents to be at ease when their child is left in the hands of their nurse. Parents are able to trust the nurses caring for their baby when they can obviously see that the nurse cares about their baby's well-being. Beautiful.

8. Stay curious. Sometimes there are things that we do day-in and day-out that at some point don’t seem to make sense anymore. Neonatal nurses are notorious for coming up with ways to improve the care they give. Nurses constantly keep their eyes open for products that will improve the care they give; making it more effective and productive for both the nurses and the babies. And, if there isn’t a product on the market that does what they want to do, they will fashion something up that will meet their need (this is how BMS got started; all by seeing a need and figuring out a way to manufacture a product that would fill that need). Nurses aren’t afraid to speak up, to say something. Just because something is done “The way we’ve always done it” does not mean that there aren’t other, more productive ways of accomplishing the same care. From what I can tell, nurses never stop looking for ways to improve the delicate care they give. I think that is astounding.

9. Love what you do. By waking up each day excited to go to work, neonatal nurses allow themselves the opportunity to look forward to walking through the hospital doors and seeing the faces of all of the babies they help to live another day. I can tell (based on blogs, websites and facebook posts) that neonatal nurses LOVE what they do and are very proud of the care they provide. By truly loving what they do, families of their patients know that neonatal nurses come alongside them and are cheering their baby on as much as they are. Families know that the nurses caring for their child are giving them hope for a better tomorrow. That is a priceless gift. Neonatal nurses have a thirst for knowledge that fuels their desire to help their patients grow and get better. Nurses live for the days when the babies go home with their families and they morn with the families who will go home without their baby. The occupation that neonatal nurses have chosen is not an easy one but it is certainly a rewarding one.

 

To neonatal nurses everywhere: Thank you for all you do!

 

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This article written by Lesli Lucier, Marketing Intern at Beevers Medical Solutions

 

 

Oh Baby, A Tale of a B-17 Tail Gunner

  
  
  

 

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At Beevers Medical Solutions, "it's all about the babies." But every once and a while we step out of the box and do something extraordinary. This time, we went on an adventure to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

This Memorial Day, 2013, I was honored to meet Tom Wallace. Tom was a tail gunner on a B-17 during World War II. I really enjoyed spending time with him and his family at the museum. I had the opportunity to hear stories from Tom's daughter, Merideth, about the time he spent in the war. I also got to walk around the plane and even look inside. It was eerie almost. What a story that plane could tell, I'm sure.

Tom is a hero in my book. He fought for his country and lived to tell the tale. I stood in awe as I watched him look at the B-17. I couldn't help but wonder, "What is he thinking about? What is he feeling?" What did he hear, what did he see? What was he thinking as he looked the plane up and down? At one point, he asked to go back over to the tail. I imagine because that is where he spent his time. Alone in the back. Fighting. Fighting for the United States and fighting to stay alive. A part of me is so interested, so curious, in the stories that he holds. But another part of me isn't so sure I want to know. Even though there is much valor and accomplishment in all he has done, I'm sure not all of the stories are easy to hear. The memories that he has of that time are probably unforgettable, to say the least. I also can't help but wonder if he ever thought that one day, after the war was over, decades later, he would visit a B-17 in a museum? I'm guessing probably not. Probably not the first thing he was thinking about while he was being shot at.

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There aren't many tail gunners left, and the experience they have is so specific and so compelling. Many of them died fighting. But Tom lived. He lived and he is still very much alive. I feel so blessed to have been able to meet him. I really appreciate the time I got to spend with him and his family. Even though I had never met them before, and I only spent about an hour of time with them, there's a part of me that feels connected to them. I think it's because I know what Tom did for me as a citizen of this country. He fought hard. He fought for me and he fought for you.

Watch this video of us at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum and tell me that this isn't a man full of strength, hope and determination. I can see it in his eyes. This man is courageous.

 

 

Do you know someone who fought in a war, too?

Share your stories with us, we'd love to hear what you have to say!

 

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This article written by: Lesli Okorn, Marketing Intern at Beevers Medical Solutions

Myka's Mini Whiskers - A Micro Preemies story

  
  
  

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"Myka was born January 14th at 1lb 11oz - 11" long. She was a micro preemie. Something I had never seen. I heard about people having tiny babies, the size of a soda can, but never thought it would happen to me. I never saw something so tiny. She looked like a little alien baby. I prayed that she would cry when she was delivered, and she did, it was faint and sounded like a kitten, but I heard it and that somehow gave me some sense of peace. I still get emotional when I think about that moment. My husband knew she was going to be OK, but I didn't have that faith right away."

"Myka was a fighter from the start. Something I have found out about the little ones, is they don't give up easy, do they?"

"Myka was on a vent for a week, and then went to a C-Pap. I finally heard her voice again. I will never forget that day. But the nurses hated the C-Pap because alarms constantly went off. The masks just don't fit those tiny faces properly. The C-Pap only lasted 6 days and then Myka was placed on the vent again. The vent was my enemy. The first time I was allowed to do kangaroo care, I extubated her when we were putting her back because I got up too quick. I turned my daughter blue but everyone quickly went into action, bagged her and pinked her up again. That was traumatic for me, but Myka was fine. 6 weeks later, we decided to do the Dart Protocol to help her get off of the vent and within 2 days she was back on C-Pap and then a day later the high flow cannula. It seemed like she was on high flow forever. I hated seeing all that tape on her poor little face. I didn't even know what she looked like without all of that tape. Some nurses taped well and some didn't have that "gift". It was so frustrating."

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"Her feeding tube never stayed in because she slobbered and the tape never stuck. Myka was a wonderful eater from the start, but they wouldn't remove her feeding tube because she was still on high flow. Our primary nurse begged the doctors to let her try low flow. She was our advocate. Myka fluctuated between 97 and 72 on o2 saturation on the high flow. As soon as she was placed on the low flow she statted 100 consistently. She was on a 1/2 liter of o2 but staying at 100%. It was so nice not hearing those alarms any more. The low flow cannula was so much smaller and the mini whiskers were introduced. Everything just looked so much better and her stickers finally stuck."

Myka Duval Roby

"After begging the doctors to let her come home and spending 89 days in the Nicu....Myka was released. I was in the Nicu every single day from 10am-8pm. I held her as much as I was allowed. She was gaining weight all along but had finally reached 5lbs. Our little angel was thriving. After 3 blood transfusions, being on a ventilator for 7 weeks, being poked, pricked, and constantly bothered : ) she was heading home. Our ending was a happy one. Myka still suffers from Chronic Lung Disease. We have tried to take her off of the o2 twice since she came home, but she is not ready. We think she will be on for a while yet, so please understand how amazing I think your company BMS is for working with us. Without your mini whiskers, every day would be a cannula fight! Thant's no joke! Myka looks and acts like a healthy baby today. Last Wednesday she was 5lbs 15 oz. My how far she has come!"

 

 

 

Guest Author:

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Nikki Broderick-Roby

Mother of Myka Duval Roby

A New Product For Babies And A Conundrum

  
  
  

As I develop a new product I find myself in a conundrum.

Previously, when I dealt with only respiratory items, I could conveniently look at the NICU world as if it were an entire room full of little lungs. When I was embracing developmental considerations, I could wrap my head around that: normal eyes, normal hips, normal hearing, normal skin, and normal eating skills were some of the goals to be achieved after leaving the NICU and going home to be cared for by Mom and Dad.  I can now see that even then I gave lip service to the baby as a whole picture; I didn’t imagine, and probably couldn’t have imagined, just how tricky the balance of total-care for our babies actually is. While addressing the many issues in the NICU there is definitely a fair share of critical issues but does that mean we can’t, we won’t, or maybe we just don’t, address the developmental issues?

For a moment, let’s think about what parents experience when they come into the NICU, into the room where their baby has spent hours, days or maybe even months attached to tubes and wires, surrounded by machines. Does every piece of effective equipment have to look like it’s from Starship Enterprise? Would it interfere with the function of a fluid pump if it had baby animals on it? These parents had an expectation of taking their newborn home to a cozy, comfortable room that they had prepared for him. Instead, they are confronted with a completely different set of circumstances. An unknown, undefined, much scarier set of circumstances. From the bedside in the NICU, I believe we are addressing this issue the best that we can. I really hope that these thoughts and questions can be considered by manufacturers too. When dealing with a cardiac issue do developmental, or respiratory goals have to be put on hold? In my opinion, it seems like they are most of the time. It’s not intentional and certainly I understand that the critical considerations have to come first. (If I were in an accident, I am all about focusing on not dying before I worry about what my hair looks like. If the hair has to go to accomplish job one then… ok. Duh.)

I have seen units so focused on high humidity for their micro babies that in addition to their smallness, they then have to try to stick things to wet babies. Very difficult. And, adhesive can’t be too sticky or the baby’s skin gets injured. Arghhh. Maybe a little drier so things can stick? Maybe a little darker so the baby eyes are protected, or brighter so the nurse can see to accurately put in that IV? The recurring theme about teamwork pops up again.  I’ve seen the tape to secure IVs rubbed with cotton so it wouldn’t be so sticky, but of course then it doesn’t hold the IV in either. Between a rock and a hard place. Should we use wide pieces of tape that have less adhesion or smaller pieces that stick well? See? A conundrum…

My admiration goes out to those bedside caregivers who balance. The specialist who sees the need to balance and compromise. The physician who acknowledges the concerns that are ongoing, though they may not be on the critical list, considers them once again after the storm passes.

To the NICU graduates… You all had an entire team looking after you from your tiny lungs to your tiny (yet big) heart. From your abducted hips and many poked heels, to your phototherapy and your swaddling. That hardworking team, when it was at its best, kept your care and comfort the very best it could be and kept the bad parts to a minimum.

In the case for ALL the precious babies fighting to stay alive couldn’t we at least take into consideration every aspect of the total-care and try to accomplish as many things at a time and also maintain some sense of sanity? I know it must be possible. Even though there are so many things to balance, surely there must be a balance. Things to de-prioritize but not to forget. Things to remember and things to let go of. There must be answers about how we can provide the very best TOTAL-CARE for our babies. And that’s why I do what I do. I want to challenge the conundrum, face it head on, and find some answers.

Incubator

How To Keep Premature Babies On The Narrow Road To Recovery

  
  
  

 There seems to be a big “thing” about the birth experience: The reduced light, the quiet room, snake oil, touchy feely, blah, blah, blah. I was on the “high risk delivery team.” I had a saying: “After this baby isn’t dead then I’ll concern myself with the experience. The baby staying alive is job number one.”

The kids that got a ticket into the NICU stayed with us for months on some kind of support till they were “fully cooked.” As time went on, developmental positioning, along with concern for the invasive sights and sounds that a preemie might experience, came into better focus. A prematurely stimulated brain does not progress in its development as intended. Does the ADHD rate have a correlation to seeing and hearing and feeling too early and not finishing the brain development in an orderly fashion?

 A few years ago, a physician lectured in Portland, Oregon at an OHSU conference. He cited studies that supported the long term effects of premature stimulation:

 

Baby in the NICU wearing a BMS Cannulaide® The visual cortex, short story: babies don’t have to look at anything until at least 34 weeks, so just leave the bili mask on.

 

 

 

The audiKeep the NICU quiet. A baby's ears are very sensitive.tory system, short story: Keep it quiet... Not necessarily silent, but quiet.

 

 

 

The oral mOral mechanics of premature babies not to be stimulated too ealry by pacifiers.echanics, short story: Trying to get a preemie to suck too early affects their development process; gavage feed until they are old enough to learn to suck, don’t rush it. This isn’t a contest, it’s a process.

 

 

A baby can't tell touch from pain until 34-36 weeks.

Stimulation of the skin, short story: a premature baby can’t tell touch from pain until the brain gets organized at about 34-36 weeks. A loving stroke may not be received as pleasant; it all depends on how developed the baby’s brain is.

 

 

When an infant delivers before its time, our management strategies should suit the premature patient, which is a much different patient than a full term baby. There is a time and a season for each thing to happen as a fetus matures. There are important steps in development that cannot be overlooked. If a developmental step is overlooked, or ignored, the brain won’t develop in order. We need to be mindful not to prematurely stimulate babies in the NICU and help to keep our babies on the narrow road to recovery.

 

mommy


Preemie Dedication - Attending NEO Conference

  
  
  

There were mostly physicians at the conference; and they were physicians who are interested in research. So, it was a great place to get feedback for our developing products!

First day on the exhibit floor I saw my old medical director. Sadly, I didn't get to talk to him but seeing Howard first thing in Orlando, all the way from Oregon, was one of those eerie things about travel. I'm never far from someone from home, even when I'm 3000 miles away… The world we live in really is quite small and the world of neonatology, even smaller.

While I was at the NEO conference, I went to three lectures about very premature babies and their chances for survival without significant problems. This is something I've always struggled with. I came away thinking that there are no easy answers and I'm definitely grateful I'm not the one making decisions. I anticipated that there would be unacceptable costs, both in hospital and out, dreadful IQ compromise, and devastation of the family unit. Some of these things were measured, some were not. I was challenged about considering the whole family unit rather than just the patient. The patient is, after all, the only consideration for the physician. The family as a whole is a variable to be considered only by the parents... Right? I have been aware of families torn asunder by the addition of a special needs child and families that embraced the circumstances. It depends on the family. No easy answers. So much “life” happens after a child leaves the NICU. I did find some comfort in knowing that I have always done my part to help a child’s development and recovery in the NICU move along as smoothly as possible before they go home and out into the big, big world. A question I often ask myself is, “How much power do physicians really have?” How much comfort and support can I offer when, ultimately, I’m not the one in control. I do know, however, that I will never give up the hope for a better tomorrow for premature babies, AND their families.

After attending the NEO conference, I’m back home in Oregon and I’m more dedicated than ever to continue developing bedside products that will help caregivers to make the tiny decisions that can make things a little better for the baby. If we put many tiny, positive decisions together it can make a BIG difference overall.

 

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