Newborns Receive Improved Phototherapy Thanks to Generous Guelph Families

While not all newborns become jaundiced, it’s reassuring to know if they do at Guelph General Hospital they’ll be treated with the latest technology thanks to our donors.

Jaundice is the most common condition that requires medical attention and hospital readmission in newborns. When a newborn has jaundice, the skin and whites of the eyes take on a yellowish hue due to an elevated level of bilirubin. High levels of bilirubin can cause brain damage or even death so it’s important that it be identified and treated.

The most common way of treating newborn jaundice is phototherapy – special light that helps break down the bilirubin.  The Hospital’s new Phototherapy Unit is a big improvement over the unit it replaces. The new unit delivers a higher quality light which results in the babies needing less time under it, meaning they are back into their parent’s arms sooner.

“We don’t want to intervene with newborns and their families as they recover post-birth,” says Laurie Williamson, Director of Maternal Newborn Services and Paediatrics. “The quality of our care is improved when we can support the baby’s recovery and get him or her back to their parents quickly.”

The new unit was purchased with donations earmarked for the Family Birthing Unit. Many came through the Foundation’s Footprints of the Future program. It celebrates a baby’s birth by mounting a footprint-shaped plaque outside the unit with the baby’s name and birthday.

“Without these designated donations, we wouldn’t have been able to improve our care and the experience for our families,” says Laurie. “We are very grateful to our generous community for supporting the Family Birthing Unit.”