Published on January 25, 2017

Essentia Health-Fosston Invests in Patient Care

Essentia Health-Fosston has purchased two bilirubin monitors; one to be used by the Labor and Delivery Team in the hospital and the other by the Family Practice Team at the clinic. The purchase comes as a result of a generous donation from the First Care Medical Foundation for transcutaneous bilirubin scanners.

"Although jaundice occurs in up to 65% of healthy newborns, checking bilirubin by using the transcutaneous bilirubin scanner gives providers more information on the severity and helps in treatment recommendation to avoid potential serious effects of high bilirubin levels," said Kate Sander, RN, Essentia Health-Fosston.

The transcutaneous bilirubin scanner is a noninvasive way to check the degree of bilirubin. The scanner collects a series of five readings by holding consistent pressure and releasing pressure over the forehead or sternum.  The scanner takes an average of the readings and provides a number indicating the degree of bilirubin.

If the collective reading is indicative of hyperbilirubinemia, then a confirmatory blood sample is collected by pricking the infant' heel. "A confirmatory blood sample is the gold standard, but is a more invasive test," said Sander. "The transcutaneous scanner is less invasive for the child and parents are at ease knowing that it isn't going to cause the child any discomfort."