Big donation for our smallest patients

News / Patient Care
By Karl Oczkowski

NICU receives $57,000 from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation

Last week’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts brought more than top-notch curling to Kingston. There was also a major donation of $57,000 from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation to Kingston General Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), along with a box of hand-knit hats and baby booties.

The donation, presented to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, is being used to fund a Video Laryngoscope System for the NICU. This new piece of technology allows care providers to see inside the airway of our smallest patients by creating a visualization of the larynx using a tiny video camera. It’s an important technological step in the difficult practice of pediatric intubations, reducing discomfort and also allowing for more effective training.

“By adopting these new technologies we enable very ill babies to stay close to home, and not have to be transported to another hospital for this level of specialized care,” says Dr. Bob Connelly, Medical Director for KGH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “As the complexity of care increases in these very fragile infants, the need for up-to-date technology increases.”

Each year, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation supports neonatal programs across Canada through a national telethon in honour of the world champion curler who died of cancer at age 36. The telethon airs on TSN during the annual Scotties Tournament of Hearts and each year the money raised goes towards future donations to neonatal causes across Canada.

The donation to KGH came from money raised during last year’s telethon and this gave gave members of the KGH community a chance to pay it forward by answering the phone and taking donations this past weekend.

Thanks to all those who supported KGH’s NICU this year, including our 30 telethon volunteers.