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Rest Haven’s Children’s Health Fund supports newborn patients

The Rest Haven Children’s Health Fund has provided Neighborhood’s San Diego County pediatric team with grant funding for two Drager Jaundice meters for newborn bilirubin testing. These devices offer non-invasive bilirubin screening and reduce the need for blood tests to only infants with high bilirubin levels.

Newborn Jaundice is very common and typically occurs 2-5 days after birth. Jaundice is caused when bilirubin builds up faster than the liver can break down and pass it from the body. Most cases are mild and easily treated at home but can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Newborns are tested for Jaundice at the hospital and again at their first follow-up appointment with their pediatrician. This is because it can take a few days for a baby’s liver to function fully.

According to Cheryl Thompson, MD, “We are grateful to Rest Haven for their support. Jaundice is a common condition for many newborns, and our clinicians test bilirubin levels for every newborn patient at their first check-up. The Drager Jaundice meters granted by Rest Haven provide the baseline bilirubin levels we need while reducing stress associated with heel pricks for both parents and babies.”

Neighborhood provides pediatric care for patients ages 0‐17 at our Health Center locations, including our primary Pediatric Health Center in Escondido. In 2020 Neighborhood cared for 21,667 children ages 0‐17, including 1,044 newborns. In San Diego County, 404 of 862 newborn patients, or 39%, were   diagnosed with Jaundice in 2020.

This award is one of the many difference-makers that local foundations and corporations support, helping Neighborhood provide quality, equitable and accessible healthcare to all.