West Virginia University's Children's Hospital has a new incubator thanks to support from the community at it's last annual Gala.
It isn't just an incubator, though. It performs a very specific and important function for babies who need an MRI.
"The baby never has to leave their temperature controlled environment, "said Dr. Mark Polak, chief of the hospital's Section of Neonatal & Newborn Medicine.
Before, staff had to take the fragile babies out of incubators and often sedate them to get a clear picture of their brains and organs.
If they were on a ventilator, the ventilator couldn't be in the MRI room," Dr. Polak said, "so there would be feet of tubing going to the baby and the monitoring would have to be outside the MRI suite."
Not anymore. Staff situate babies in the incubator, and then the whole incubator goes into the MRI machine.
"This makes it so much easier, so much safer," Dr. Polak said, "and the results are also much better."
Those results could make a big difference for outcome of the hospital's patients.
"The MRI is essential for these babies," Dr. Polak said, "to help us look at is there a specific problem and prognostically what can we tell the parents and how we need to set them up for long term care."
The hospital bought this machine with donations from last year's Gala.
"We're the only one in the state that has this piece of equipment," said Cheryl Jones, director of WVU Children's Hospital. "There really is a very limited amount of Children's Hospitals that have this so we're really fortunate and again without the goodness of all the folks who come to the gala we would not be able to have such a wonderful piece of equipment."
The hospital hasn't decided just which service this year's gala will benefit.
It's Saturday, February 9 at the Morgantown Event Center. You can find more information or buy your tickets here.