Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Penn Awarded Grant to NICU

March 24, 2015


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Penn awarded the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Penn Highlands DuBois $23,070 to purchase new Medfusion® 3500 syringe pumps. Shown with a pump are Suzanne McCullough, RN, director of the NICU, and Lisa Beatty of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Penn and local McDonald’s restaurant owner.

Getting medications to critically ill newborns is going to be better in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Penn awarded the NICU $23,070 to purchase new Medfusion® 3500 syringe pumps, according to Diane Blasdell, director of Development at Penn Highlands DuBois.

Medfusion pumps are used with babies who weigh less than 1,000 grams or approximately 35 ounces, or 2.2 pounds. Some of the babies in the NICU have weighed as little as 14 ounces, according to Suzanne McCullough, RN, and director of the NICU. 

For these small patients, it is vital that tiny amounts of medicines be given, and some doses are to be spread out over a period of time ranging from 30 minutes to three hours. As little as 0.001 milliliter per hour may be needed, and that’s something not something all pumps can do. Accuracy is critically important.

This syringe infusion system promotes best practices in clinical care as recommended by the top hospitals, accrediting agencies and regulatory bodies. The system is used by the entire 2011-2012 U.S. News & World Report Children's Hospital Honor Roll.

Currently, the NICU has eight Medfusion pumps which were purchased between 1992-98, McCullough said. On a nearly continuous basis, these old pumps are out of service for repair.  

“With this donation,” Blasdell said, “we should be able to purchase five or six pumps with these funds.”  In July, an anonymous donor provided funding to purchase two Medfusion pumps, but no other funding was available for the remaining six pumps needed. 

Lisa Beatty of RMHC Mid-Penn, and local McDonald’s restaurant owner, presented the award to McCullough. “The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is to provide sustainability and resources for families with sick children,” said Beatty. “RMHC Mid-Penn is pleased to be able to fulfill that mission through this gift to PH DuBois’ NICU.”

“Caring for the babies in the NICU is our top priority,” McCullough said. “Technology is an important part of the care we provide for our babies. It is with donations from our anonymous donor and donors like RMHC Mid-Penn that we can continue to provide high quality, safe care, with excellent outcomes to our tiniest of babies.”

Penn Highlands DuBois has the only NICU in 75 mile radius, and it is the only such unit in a 100-mile referral area. 
CUTLINE: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Penn awarded the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Penn Highlands DuBois $23,070 to purchase new Medfusion® 3500 syringe pumps. Shown with a pump are Suzanne McCullough, RN, director of the NICU, and Lisa Beatty of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Penn and local McDonald’s restaurant owner.