BEND, OR -- A new piece of equipment at St. Charles is designed to help transport the region's sickest babies to the Bend hospital for care. The St. Charles Foundation recently purchased the new neonatal isolette for the hospital.
Lisa Dobey, with the foundation, tells KBND News, "It's a baby bassinet that is basically on a stretcher, where it pops up and down. It's easy to move a baby and put it into the helicopter. It also has oxygen and it clicks in like a carseat would, so once it's in the helicopter it's safe; it doesn't move around."
She says it was important to replace an aging isolette. "We have one that is so old that the company no longer provides replacement parts for it. And, the Life Flight people have bought a new helicopter, and it won't even work in their new helicopter system." The old unit also could only carry one baby at a time.
The new isolette will be able to transport two babies at once, and cost about $150,000. But, Dobey says it was money well spent. "Our board took a look at this; they heard a presentation by Dr. Fister and knew that this was something the Health System desperately needed, that it helped our very sickest and our very youngest of patients, and it's something that everyone in the community would feel good about their charitable dollars supporting. "
The new neonatal isolette should arrive in Bend, soon.