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Trail Kiwanis donates to neonatal care

KBRH Health Foundation’s $700,000 Tier 3 NICU Project is in progress
Kiwanis members Darrell Cross, Jackie McLean and Chris Vlanich present their $3,000+ donation to Lisa Pasin, executive director, KBRH Health Foundation. Photo: Submitted

In recognition of National Family Day and Kiwanis International Day of Giving (Feb. 21), the Kiwanis Club of Trail presented KBRH Health Foundation with a donation of $3,022 to purchase a breastfeeding chair for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

NICU breastfeeding chairs allow new mothers to provide skin to skin contact with their newborns in a comfortable environment. This allows easy access to both mother and baby during nursing in order to provide support and care to both patients.

KBRH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

In September 2022, KBRH was approved for Tier 3 Nursery status, which will provide three nursery beds with 24/7 nursing care.

The Tier 3 NICU will provide neonatal services to newborns at approximately 34 weeks and 1800g, or 3.3 pounds, who present moderate risk requiring acute care.

As well, an urgent/emergent baby born at approximately 32 weeks and 1500g, or four pounds, with appropriate weight for gestational age, may be able to remain at KBRH’s Tier 3 NICU.

The NICU will also allow for repatriation of babies from Tiers 4 to 6 sites, for example Vancouver, Kelowna and Kamloops, when it is safe for the baby. The unit can also accept infants from Tier 1 and 2 sites, such as Kootenay Lake Hospital, if enhanced care is needed.

Approval of the Tier 3 status also facilitated hiring of a new pediatrician, growing the number of pediatricians to three.

The closest referral hospitals, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vancouver, are a minimum four hour drive, making travel challenging, especially in the winter months. Distance also separates new parents from their families and support systems whey they need them the most. KBRH’s Tier 3 Nursery, with equipment specifically designed for infants, along with neonatal trained nurses, will ensure comprehensive maternal and neonatal care for families living in the Kootenay Boundary, and strengthen maternal/child care, allowing mothers and babies access to appropriate, safe, and quality care closer to home.

The KBRH Health Foundation’s $700,000 Tier 3 NICU Project is in progress.

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Sheri Regnier

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