PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center has been awarded more than $27,000 for two neonatal cardiac monitors and a vein viewer.  The grant was received from Brave Beginnings, a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation that provides grants for essential neonatal intensive care equipment to hospitals nationwide. 

According to PeaceHealth, babies born prematurely in Southern Southeast Alaska sometimes must be medevaced to hospitals with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  The nearest NICU is in Seattle, Washington, more than 680 miles away. PeaceHealth writes that with the new equipment, premature babies born at KMC will have a better chance to stay home for care.

According to registered nurse Sarah Cook, manager of KMC’s New Beginnings Birthing Center, the cardiac monitors allow healthcare providers to accurately monitor the baby’s heart rate and rhythm, and help identify possible blood flow and cardiac-related problems. The vein finder assists when placing an IV or drawing blood in babies.

KMC’s New Beginnings Birthing Center cared for 177 newborns in 2017. Twelve were medevaced for additional medical support.