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For the first time this year, St John of God Foundation was awarded a grant from the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, which will directly help families in the NICU and Special Care Nursery at both St John of God Murdoch and Subiaco Hospitals, through the purchase of ‘Angel Eyes’ camera systems.Caregiver holding a St John of God Foundation sign standing in front of a Telethon backdrop with Fat Cat.

The Angel Eyes camera system provides live video streaming from NICU and Special Care Nursery cots, allowing parents and other family members to watch their vulnerable infants in real time, no matter where they are located.

“For families of newborn babies whose first few days, weeks or even months are spent in the NICU or Special Care Nursery, the joy of their baby’s arrival can be tempered by the anxieties brought on by separation and the strain of managing visits,” says St John of God Foundation CEO Bianca Pietralla.

“The Angel Eyes camera system can help to bring comfort and connection to families during this challenging time, and is the very definition of the compassionate care that we pride ourselves on at St John of God Health Care.”

During long stays, parents will often stay with their vulnerable infants for as many hours as they can, which can cause distress for other family members and reduce the opportunity for mothers to heal after childbirth. This Angel Eyes camera system is a simple and secure solution that provides reassurance, reduces anxiety and allows parents to feel more connected and involved in the care of their newborn.

At the Leeuwin Lunch for Telethon in May, generous donors at the event supported the purchase of a Fetal Monitoring Machine for Subiaco, and a baby ventilator for Murdoch.

The fetal monitoring machine is used for monitoring women in labour, allowing greater mobility and a less restricted experience, and enabling mums to assume positions of comfort in labour. The machine will enable caregivers to deliver safer care and provide a better patient experience.

“We are very thankful to Telethon for the gift of our new telemetry fetal monitor,” says St John of God Subiaco Hospital Clinical Nurse Manager Joan Cunningham.

“This monitor allows for birthing women who wish to remain mobile during their labour to do so, while their midwife can continuously monitor the wellbeing of their unborn baby. Having telemetry ensures that the midwives working in the birthing suite can support and facilitate the wishes of the birthing mothers and give them the birthing experience they desire.”

The new ventilator will offer vital temporary ventilation for babies born with critical, life threatening conditions, while they wait for emergency transport to take them to a specialist neonatal care facility. Having access to this equipment at St John of God Murdoch Hospital will help improve outcomes for neonatal babies and give them the best possible fighting chance.

“The addition of this new state-of-the-art ventilator to the neonatal unit at St John of God Murdoch Hospital will ensure we are providing the best evidence based care to our babies,” said St John of God Murdoch Hospital Clinical Midwifery Specialist Sarah Sheehan.

“It will allow us to provide high level oxygen requirements for pre-term babies prior to transfer, ensuring better long-term outcomes. The entire neonatal medical team, nurses and midwives on St Mary’s ward are excited for the arrival of the new ventilator and looking forward to the education and training.”

These amazing new technologies will help countless WA families during the precious first days of their baby’s life, and we are very grateful to the Channel 7 Telethon Trust for their support.

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