Our Frontline Staff: They are there for our kids. Be there for them.
The NICU is a high-emotion unit, and those emotions run from happiness and joy to sadness and sorrow. Staff never know what’s coming through their doors, from newborns with life threatening medical conditions to the tiniest of micropreemies weighing no more than a pound of butter. In the best of times, it is a place where the stakes are high, the struggle for survival is real and a simple infection can mean the difference between life and death.
And these are not the best of times. Since COVID-19 arrived in Quebec, the virus has added an extra level of complexity to the already tough job of caring for the province’s sickest children. With 52 beds, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has been operating at full capacity and staff have had to turn on a dime to prevent COVID-19 from entering its doors.
Each parent and baby must all be screened for the virus. Parents who test positive, or who have been in contact with someone who has, cannot visit their child.
And those who can be with their child must observe the strictest of infection controls. Already overwhelmed by their baby’s illness, parents must be trained to observe the additional safety measures that COVID-19 has imposed. They must sign in and out of the unit, observe 2-metre social distancing rules, and family rooms are limited to one family at a time and disinfected between each use.
Most difficult of all, parents must wear masks at all times, robbing them of the most important communication between a parent and a child: a simple, comforting smile.
Throughout it all, the NICU staff have been there and will continue to be there to care for the Children’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients.
But they haven’t been doing it alone. Your support is helping to ensure that busy nurses can step in for absent parents to make sure that that babies get the stimulation they need when mom or dad cannot be by their side. You are making sure that they have enough equipment so that families don’t have to share and reduce the risk spreading of spreading infection.
And your donations are helping to provide the simulation training so the entire team can continuously learn as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Your support will continue to make an important difference in keeping their patients safe and healthy.