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Houlton Rotary donation helps newborns at Houlton Regional Hospital

HOULTON, Maine — Monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen levels on newborns will now be easier thanks to a new device at Houlton Regional Hospital.

Purchased with funds donated to the hospital by the Houlton Rotary Club, the new ECG Monitor replaces an outdated ECG unit that was originally acquired second-hand from Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor many years ago.

According to Cheryl Peabody, a nurse at HRH’s obstetrics unit, the old unit still functioned, but not as well as it should. Plus finding parts for the machine proved increasingly difficult.

“It’s extremely important to have the best available equipment so that we can maintain standard levels of care here at the hospital,” Peabody said. “If we have a baby that has critical needs, we stabilize the infant here and then (Northern Light Health) in Bangor sends a transport team to us if we have a baby that needs tertiary care.”

“The ECG monitor is critical in monitoring newborns’ respiratory status, heart rate and oxygen saturation levels,” added Lori Weston, executive director for the hospital’s Health Services Foundation. “The monitor is essential to have when monitoring sick babies and premature infants who may have periods of apnea.”

The Rotary Club donated $2,000 for the purchase of the new equipment.

“The money donated for this all came from proceeds from the Houlton Rotary Auction,” said Nate Bodenstab, Rotary president. “What is great is all the money is local. Local businesses donate items for the auction, then local people bid on the items. And then all of the money stays right here in our community.”

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