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17 June 2019

Northern Montana Health Care Foundation Purchases Equipment for Labor & Delivery Unit at Northern Montana Hospital

Havre, Montana –Northern Montana Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees voted unanimously to sponsor the purchase of equipment for the Northern Montana Hospital (NMH) Labor & Delivery Unit (LDRP). The Lullaby LED Phototherapy System, also known as “Baby Bili Lights”, will be used for bilirubin therapy on newborns.

Bilirubin Therapy is called for when a newborn shows signs of jaundice. Newborn jaundice occurs when a baby has a high level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that the body creates when it replaces old red blood cells. The liver helps break down the substance so it can be removed from the body in the stool and urine.

When the baby is growing in the mother’s womb, the placenta removes bilirubin from the baby’s body. After birth, the baby’s liver starts doing this job. It may take some time for the baby’s liver to be able to do this efficiently.

“Many newborns have some level of jaundice. It is often most noticeable when the baby is 2 to 4 days old. Most of the time, it does not cause problems and goes away within 2 weeks.” stated Eric Koch, RN, VP of Patient Care Services at NMH. “When it does not go away on its own, then additional treatment is called for.”

The Lullaby LED units use Phototherapy, which involves shining fluorescent light from the bili lights on bare skin. A specific wavelength of light can break down bilirubin into a form that the body can get rid of through the urine and stools. A range of irradiance allows high-low settings for desired treatments. “Other portability features make the units simpler and more convenient to use for our LDRP team. We’re thrilled be using these here at NMH.” added Mr. Koch.

Since its inception thirty years ago, the Northern Montana Health Care Foundation, the fundraising arm of NMH, has raised money for many projects beneficial to NMH and the entire community. “Being able to help our community once again, is one of the many benefits of being a part of this group.” added Christen Obresley, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We look forward to many more years of being able to do so.”

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