Sinai Health System: 2018-2019

Sinai Health System is Illinois’ largest private, nonprofit safety net healthcare system. Their service area includes 1.5 million Chicagoans living on Chicago’s west and southwest sides who are disproportionately affected by illness, poverty, community violence and related challenges. SHS serves some of Chicago’s poorest and most medically underserved communities.

Within this system, Sinai Children’s Hospital’s Labor & Delivery Unit specializes in providing quality care for low-income mothers and babies. With the communities served having limited access to health care services, on average over 80% of the mothers who deliver at SCH have high-risk pregnancies. From delivery through providing the highest level of neonatal care, ensuring that Sinai provides the best care possible for babies and mothers is critical, both prior to and upon delivery, as well as after the child is born.

With the support of Washington Square Health Foundation, Sinai was able to purchase a Panda Infant Warmer. The warmers are used for every baby that is delivered in the unit, for those crucial moments after he or she is born. Panda Infant Warmers help keep babies safe and warm.

The baby is placed in the warmer shortly or immediately after birth depending on the infant. The warmers help to stabilize infant body temperatures as the infant is adapting to life outside the womb. The temperature is adjusted to the infant’s needs. The clinicians are able to get a clear visual of the baby while the baby is benefitting from the heat source.

By evenly distributing heat to the infant, and also providing hands-free monitoring of vital signs, the Panda Warmer allows caregivers to attend to each new baby’s needs. The Panda Warmer eases the medical team’s ability to attend a baby, no matter the circumstance, and provides immediate care in what sometimes can be critical moments following birth, when a baby may be in distress. With its unobtrusive design and generous headspace, the warmer allows for multiple caregivers to have easy access to the baby, and provide treatments such as x-rays or surgery, without the baby ever having to be removed from the warmer.

Every baby who is born in the unit is placed on the Panda Warmer. Placing the baby on the warmer cues “Brahms Lullaby” to be played over the hospital’s intercom system, letting the hospital community know that a brand new life has entered the world. With approximately 2,500 babies born at Sinai Children’s Hospital every year, Washington Square Health Foundation’s gift has been a crucial partner in welcoming Sinai babies and helping them thrive.