Far Rockaway hospital looking to raise funds for equipment that helps newborns with jaundice

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Screenshot courtesy of YouTube/GE Healthcare

In a continuing effort to deliver world-class obstetric care, a Far Rockaway hospital announced fundraising efforts to purchase equipment for jaundiced newborns.

During St. John’s Episcopal Hospital’s (SJEH) latest Giving Tuesday, the hospital introduced a campaign to buy four GE Healthcare Bilisoft Phototherapy Systems. Babies can undergo a blue LED light therapy session while laying down or while being held, rocked or fed.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), jaundice is a common condition in newborn children. It affects approximately 60 percent of full-term babies and 80 percent of premature babies.

Severe jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia cases that go untreated can cause brain damage in newborn children.

SJEH Director of Foundation Nancy Leghart said that each system costs $5,000 for a total of $20,000 for four. Similarly to the hospital’s previous fundraising efforts, Leghart shared that there will be several opportunities to raise funds for the systems.

The hospital introduced their 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign on Dec. 3 and raised about $1,000 to date. Leghart added that they placed a donation bucket in the hospital’s cafeteria to encourage staff to donate while on their lunch breaks.

Last month, the Rockaways hospital raised funds for a Giraffe Incubator Carestation, which helps monitor, assess and treat premature babies in a calm environment.

Fundraising efforts for the incubator began during the 2018 Giving Tuesday campaign. Through a combination of community donations, a denim day and a generous donation from a man born premature, SJEH raised the $20,000 necessary to purchase the incubator.

Those interested in donating can visit ehs.org/bilisoft.

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