NSLHD News February 11 2022

ROYAL NORTH SHORE’S PAEDIATRIC HOSPITAL IN THE HOME A paediatric service that started as a project back in 2016 is now caring for over 500 children in the community every year – allowing patients and their families to receive care and support in the comfort of their own homes. Royal North Shore Hospital’s Paediatric Hospital in the

Home (PHITH) has grown over the years to provide another level of support for children in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the PHITH service within NSLHD cared for every child who received a positive result. The PHITH team comprised a small team of nurses and medical staff who performed up to 50 reviews daily during the height of the pandemic in September and October this year. Clinical Nurse Specialist 2 at the service, Heather Grigg said the majority of reviews were performed by telehealth, but the team frequently attended patients’ home to collect swabs and blood tests. “The service at RNSH cared for over 300 COVID-19 positive paediatric patients up until November 2021,” she said. “Keeping children at home when possible enables the family to support each other through the challenges of a COVID-19 diagnosis. “Working alongside the

Baby Marcus with the Bilisoft at home

Virtual Hospital and our local Public Health Unit ensured families felt supported throughout their isolation period.” Beyond COVID-19, the service continues to expand, having recently acquired a portable Bilisoft phototherapy unit. The Bilisoft is used as treatment for babies with jaundice. It is a very safe and effective treatment in reducing serum bilirubin levels. “Babies require the Bilisoft at all times until their serum bilirubin levels come down, most of the time this takes just a few days, but for some babies it can take longer,” Heather said. “The portable Bilisoft means families don’t need to stay at hospital for extended periods, and can treat their baby at home so the family can stay

together. “We educate the parents on how to use the Bilisoft at home, but if they need to come into hospital at all they still can. “We make daily calls and frequent home visits to collect blood samples and review the infant’s progress.” Michelle and Bryan Lee have experienced this first- hand. Their five-week-old baby Marcus has jaundice and requires the Bilisoft for treatment. “We have a three-and-a-half- year-old at home as well, so being able to use the portable Bilisoft at home makes it so much easier,” Michelle said. “The portable system works really well and we are very grateful this service is available to us.”

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