Baby Payton Dykstra takes a look at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre’s new Panda Warmer Oct. 11. Pictured are Leanne Reed and Tina Dykstra of the Ponoka Kinette Club

Warmer welcome for newborns at Ponoka Hospital

Newborn babies at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will have a more welcoming introduction to the world.

Newborn babies at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre will have a more welcoming introduction to the world.

With the help of the Ponoka Kinette Club and the Ponoka and District Hospital Foundation a new $30,000 Panda Warmer has been purchased.

The instrument has many functions that help doctors ensure a newborn is healthy, says Lisa Barrett, manager of acute care. “The baby never has to leave the room.”

Parents are able to watch as a baby gets weighed and checked. The device has a heated pad, a thermometer and can provide blended air and oxygen if needed. There is also the option to purchase an X-ray machine with the Panda Warmer, although that was not part of the purchase.

Kinette Leanne Reed was proud to see the unit in the hospital. “For us, it was just kind of doing something neat. Women doing something for women.”

Bringing a new Panda Warmer to the hospital was something Brenda Verheire, director with the Ponoka and District Hospital Foundation, felt was an important need. “When the Kinettes approached us as a brand new foundation, we were happy to help.”

The Hospital has since retired its oldest Panda Warmer, which was first purchased in 1977. There is another unit that is several years old and will be used in the operating room. For Dr. Schalk Greyling, the new Panda Warmer is a welcome tool in caring for newborns. “It’s more technologically advanced.”

Physicians can provide accurate care and specialized care to babies but despite the Panda Warmer’s sophistication, it is user-friendly, he added.