New Panda Warmer needed for general hospital

Having a surgeon in Ponoka has allowed more expectant mothers to have C-sections but it has also increased the number of babies born

The Kinette Club is fundraising for a new Panda Warmer for the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre and can cost $25

The Kinette Club is fundraising for a new Panda Warmer for the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre and can cost $25

Having a surgeon in Ponoka has allowed more expectant mothers to have C-sections but it has also increased the number of babies born at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.

To tackle the increase of babies, the Kinettes Club is hosting a fundraiser for a new Panda Warmer. The bed is used in the operating room after a baby is born and has several functions available to nurses and doctors, explained Lisa Barrett, manager of acute care at the hospital. “It has the ability to X-ray them.”

With a price tag of at least $25,000, the bed does not come cheap and Barrett approached the Kinettes to see how they wanted to proceed with fundraising. The hospital does have a bed already in the operating room but it is older and has fewer feature. Nurses must take the baby out of the room to weigh it and check other vital signs.

The older bed will still be used but the Panda Warmer’s new technology will be able to keep new mothers in the same room as their newborns. Another benefit of the bed is the ability to blend air if needed and parents can get vital information.

“The first questions is, ‘Is it a boy or a girl and how much does it weigh?’” stated Barrett.

There were 84 babies born from April 2011 to March 2012 and the general hospital has already surpassed that amount. “So far we’re at 103 and still have March to go…We’re projecting over 120.”

The Kinettes have a Mardi Gras party planned for March 23 at the Kinsmen Community Centre, explained treasurer Leanne Reed. “We’re a small group of people trying to do things for the betterment of the community.”

Reed’s hope is to make nurses and doctors jobs easier with this new bed and she feels it is an investment for the community. “We thought as a group of moms and being in our financial grasp, we just thought it is a benefit to the whole community.”

Expect a night of fun and dancing with the band St. James Gate.

“We always have fun at our events,” she added. “It’s for a good cause. You get a meal and you get a live band.”

The hospital is also renovating the delivery room with curtains, paint and new cabinets.

Tickets can be purchased at The Co-Operators in Ponoka or Tina Dykstra at (403) 396-9588 or the Kinettes email at ponokakinetteclub@hotmail.com.