Brave Beginnings, Helping Preemies Thrive!
Updated: May 14
Being a NICU Nurse, I am very aware of the amazing outcomes we are creating in the NICU population everyday!
Did you know that 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely?
Yes, 1 in 9 babies is born prematurely! (37 weeks and younger). That is a lot of premature babies....and a lot of hospitals required to care for each and every premature baby born. However, did you know that many hospitals are limited by funding and are unable to purchase vital equipment needed to help save these babies?!
Working bedside as a NICU nurse, I see the need for this equipment everyday! We could not save the lives and create the best outcomes without our bedside equipment, monitors, and new technologies. That is why when I learned about Brave Beginnings, I passionately teamed up to help support their cause and bring awareness to this issue!
Brave Beginnings is a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation working to ensure ventilators and vital neonatal equipment are always available to newborns in critical need.
Since 2006, Brave Beginnings has contributed millions of dollars to facilities across the United States. Each year, the program spends roughly $1 million in grants awarded to hospitals nationwide. The funds are used to purchase vital equipment for Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) caring for fragile lives born too soon.
Due to the overwhelming need for this type of equipment, the program is expected to triple in size within the next few years!! Brave Beginnings was previously named, “The Will Rogers Institute Neonatal Equipment Grant Program.”
THE HEART (& LUNGS) OF THE MATTER
Preterm birth remains among the top causes of infant death. A "Preemie" is defined as an infant born earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy. At birth, Preemies are at greater risk for both short and long-term health complications than full term infants
Short-term complications include breathing problems such as respiratory distress syndrome, heart issues like patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), hypothermia, gastrointestinal problems and an underdeveloped immune system, which can lead to life-threatening infections. Preemies face potentially lifelong complications such as cerebral palsy, impaired cognitive skills, vision and hearing problems, as well as behavioral and psychological problems.
The care given in the first hour after birth, often known as the “Golden Hour,” is crucial for the long-term health of a Preemie. Having access to the right medical equipment for neonatal care is truly a matter of life and death.
Without adequate neonatal equipment and beds, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff (such as myself) often face the challenging problem of sharing essential equipment amongst Preemies, necessitating moving a baby from one piece of equipment to another.
Research shows that 27% of infants who are moved from one point of care to another experience complications such as hypothermia
We are now saving babies as young as 23-34 weeks!! That is extremely exciting, however we could NOT do this without the help of our new technologies!
What do I mean by technology?
1. GIRAFFE OMNIBED (Isolettes) 2. AIRBORNE 750I TRANSPORT INCUBATOR
3. NICU BRONCHOSCOPE WITH FLEXIBLE INTUBATION VIDEO ENDOSCOPE KIT
3. BLENDERS (FOR NASAL CANNULA SUPPORT)
4. PULSE OX PROBES
And SOOOO much more! This being said, all of these products are expensive & many NICU hospitals can not afford these items.
I am here to bring awareness to our community & help share their MISSION!
Check out their website to learn more! Spread the word & hopefully we can continue to save every baby!
HEAD OVER TO CHECK OUT:
Tori Meskin, BSN RNC-NIC is a registered nurse in Los Angeles & Orange County metropolitan area. Working in Level IV-II NICUs.
In addition to being a wife & nurse, podcaster, and blogger. Tori is currently studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). She has obtained her National Certification (NICU) and worked as a local traveler pursuing bedside experiences in several NICU settings.
Tori enjoys time with her new hubby, creating content, learning about new patient populations, riding horses, weekend beach or ski time, time with family & friends & sharing all of her life Tips along the way!
Follow her NICU & Lifestyle blog journey as she juggles married life, nurse life, & enjoying life’s adventures!