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Generous support from the St John of God Geelong Hospital community has funded a new device that will bring advanced care to newborns in the Special Care Nursery.


Neonatal jaundice is common, occurring when the liver is unable to break down excess red blood cells. Standard treatment requires infant blood samples to measure levels of bilirubin – a chemical component inside red blood cells that can be harmful if an excess is present – in newborns.

The new device, a Transcutaneous Bilirubinometer (TcB), will allow a bilirubin measurement to be taken from a newborn’s forehead to determine whether further testing is required. This offers numerous benefits to newborns and their parents including less pain, reduced infection risk, and also minimises the potential for interruption of breastfeeding, allowing mother and baby to spend more time together in the days following birth. 

The TcB device can also be used to measure the effectiveness of treatment, which may reduce the number of additional blood tests needed for an infant requiring condition management.

St John of God Nurse Unit Manager Melissa Mazzarino said the team is very grateful for the community’s support and is excited about the benefits the device will bring.

“Being the first TcB device for our nursery, the team is excited about the benefits for bubs and their parents. The device will also support reduced testing rates overall which will give comfort to families and give caregivers more time for other support duties.”

The purchase of this equipment was only made possible thanks to kind donations received at Café Costa’s Tap and Go donation point (above), along with gifts from the individuals and families in the community.

To find out how you can support the Special Care Nursery at St John of God Geelong Hospital, or a different area of care at your local St John of God Hospital, please contact us.

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