Digby General is now a warmer safer place to have babies.
The Digby General Hospital Auxiliary donated a new modern baby-warming unit this week for use in the emergency department.
“A baby is very vulnerable and if it’s coming to the world in an emergency situation, then it’s nice to have the proper facilities here,” says Jacqueline Amirault, past-president of the auxiliary.
Hubert d’Entremont, site manager at Digby General, wants there to be no confusion.
“Digby no longer has an obstetrics department and we don’t normally deliver babies here, but the reality is Mother Nature will sometimes orchestrate things so that it has to happen here.”
d’Entremont, who himself has a paramedic background, says some babies won’t wait to be driven to Yarmouth or Kentville and the ambulance workers may have to decide for Digby. There have been two such births at Digby General in the last six months and nine in the last five years.
Hubert says before they had the unit, it was possible to keep the baby warm with blankets. But the new system allows staff to see the baby as well, so they can observe any changes in colour or problems with breathing.
The unit cost $7,785.
Ruth Romard, a RN in Digby’s emergency department, says it’s reassuring to have the unit in the hospital.
“We’ve been lucky. The births here have been healthy. But if we get a premature birth or a baby that isn’t in a stable condition, then without the warmer, we’d be in trouble.”