Hospital donation means no blood test for newborns
New technology in St Helier Hospital will mean newborns no longer need to have a blood test for jaundice.
The League of Friends of Sutton and St Helier Hospitals donated the baby jaundice meter to St Helier Hospital's maternity service and will enable staff to monitor the condition from an early stage.
Jaundice is common among babies, caused by a build-up of a yellow substance known as bilirubin in the blood.
It can usually subside with a good feeding regime, but in some newborns can lead to underlying health problems.
The technology will enables staff to monitor babies showing symptoms, which include the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
Parents can get an on-the-spot test result, without newborns having to undergo a blood test.
Head of midwifery, Sally Sivas, said: "We cannot thank our charity friends enough for this wonderful gift. Thanks to the work of League of Friends, we can now carry out a much kinder, gentler test for most babies and get immediate results.
"The hand-held meter works by taking a reading from the baby’s skin surface, and is portable so in addition to staff using it on the wards community midwives can take it on home visits as part of their kitbag."
Val Brundle, chairman of League of Friends, said: "We are delighted to donate this wonderful new equipment to St Helier, who do amazing work with local expecting mums and their babies. "This is also great news for parents, as most of them won’t have to travel to hospital for this initial test now."
Parents are given advice when leaving hospital to help them detect jaundice in their newborn baby, as well as support through community home visits.
Visit epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk for more information.