On the scene at LHSC

Summer 2015

Kangaroo-A-Thon promotes skin-to skin contact with NICU babies and their parents

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital at LHSC held its first ever Kangaroo-A-Thon to increase awareness of the importance of skin-to-skin holding, or kangaroo care, for premature or ill infants and their families. The initiative was in response to a friendly challenge issued by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to other NICU’s in the region to achieve over 605 hours of skin-to-skin holding in a two-week period.

Kangaroo care, named for the similarity to how certain marsupials carry their young, has been occurring in LHSC’s NICU for approximately 20 years, and has recently evolved to encourage the parents of even the smallest babies to initiate skin-to-skin holding earlier.

The recliners—or ‘kangaroo chairs’ as they are referred to by staff and parents—used in the NICU at LHSC’s Children’s Hospital were donated by Children’s Health Foundation and its donors.

Celebrating our volunteers

During National Volunteer Week in April, LHSC celebrated its volunteers for the truly important role they play in creating positive patient and family experiences. This year, 68 volunteers received Long Service Awards for providing five or more years of service.

This year, Diane Kincaid was a 40-year-recipient. She began volunteering at University Hospital during the building’s infancy. As a stay-at-home mother of two boys, she wanted to keep occupied when her children were of school age. Now, years later she continues to volunteer twice a week. During her time at LHSC she has made lasting friendships and played an instrumental role in mproving the patient experience.

LHSC takes part in the Race Against Drugs

LHSC’s injury prevention team took part in the Race Against Drugs, an RCMP-led initiative that promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle as it educates grade five students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Each group of students travelled to 12 ‘pit stops.’ At LHSC’s station, the injury prevention team had a tic-tac-toe trivia game that quizzed participants on the medical consequences of using drugs and alcohol and also highlighted many misconceptions. Instead of X’s and O’s, images of hearts and brains were used to complete the board.

Other stations included the use of fatal vision goggles, “drunk goggles”, videos, games, and even a simulated jail cell.

Kidney transplant milestones achieved

This spring, LHSC celebrated two important milestone achievements: the Multi-Organ Transplant Program completed both the 2,500th kidney transplant performed at the hospital, and the 500th living donor kidney transplant.

“LHSC is a leader in organ transplantation in Canada, and we are proud that we have been able to provide 2,500 kidney patients with a new lease on life since the program was founded in 1973,” said Dr. Patrick Luke, co-director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at LHSC. “Living donation is an important option for patients to consider, and in the case of our 500th living transplant donor and recipient, I think they would agree it was the best choice for them.”

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In the NICU, Danielle Kember holds her daughter Emery Piper in a skin-to-skin Kangaroo hold for a few hours every afternoon, promoting bonding and development.
Husband and wife, Rick and Karen Mercier, with Dr. Patrick Luke. When Rick donated his kidney to Karen, the transplant surgery became the 500th living donor kidney transplant performed at LHSC.
Forty-year volunteer, Diane Kincaid.
Brandon Batey, Injury Prevention Specialist and Tania Haider, Injury Project Associate at the LHSC ‘pit stop.’