The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the state-owned Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) received a critical piece of equipment thanks to a partnership involving St Nicholas Abbey and Eric Hassell Shipping.
The $49,000 state-of-the-art incubator was received by the Head of Paediatrics Department at the QEH Dr Angela Jennings.
Wife of the owner of St Nicholas Abbey Camilla Warren said the donation was one of the items on the hospital’s wish list and they collected the funds from their annual Christmas Carols event.
“It has always been a personal dream to donate an incubator and this year we did a special partnership with Eric Hassell Shipping who kindly and generously donated funds to us to get ahead and purchase [it],” she said.
Director of Sales and Business Development at Eric Hassell Shipping Mark Hassell told the media his company became involved as they wanted to give back to the community.
“[With] this year being [our] 50th anniversary, we were looking for special ways to give back. When we heard what Simon and Camilla were doing with the incubator, and there was a way to help with that, we jumped on the chance,” he said.
Newborn Intensive Care Specialist Dr Gillian Birchwood said the donation was necessary as the Unit is the largest neonatal one in the island [and] they need to have up-to-date equipment.
“In order for us to provide optimal care to our babies it is essential we have equipment such as an incubator. In the intensive care unit, the incubator is a piece of equipment that duplicates a mother’s womb,” she said.
Birchwood said the state-owned facility needs approximately 20 incubators to be able to handle the demand of babies that require neonatal care.
“We have babies who are around 600 grams and up and that is just over a pound. These babies would spend a considerable amount of time in the neonatal intensive care unit. Smaller babies may spend several months and around that time they would need to be in one of these incubators. So, because of the length of time a baby needs to be in an incubator, in order to serve [all of them] we need about 20 incubators,” Birchwood said.
She added donations such as the one presented by St. Nicholas Abbey and Eric Hassell Shipping make a tremendous difference to the quality care they could provide to neonatal babies in Barbados. (LG)