Celebrating our tiniest patients on World Prematurity Day

On 17 November, we celebrated World Prematurity Day and the amazing work of our Neonatology Intensive Care and Special Care Units. The theme of World Prematurity Day for 2021 was “Zero separation: Act now! Keep parents and babies born too soon together”.

Each year more than 1,600 premature and sick babies are admitted to the Grantley Stable Neonatal Unit (GSNU). Over the past 12 months, GSNU had 1,814 admission of which 574 were premature babies. Many of these babies stay for months at a time while they receive life-giving medical treatment.

The Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists Association has been hard at work knitting and crocheting hundreds of tiny purple beanies for RBWH’s premature babies. The colour purple is the internationally recognised colour for premature babies, which represents sensitivity and exceptionality.

RBWH neonatology nurse Natasha Chetty helped coordinate the beanies this year and said that every baby in the unit on World Prematurity Day received a beanie and a special shirt to wear.

“Beanies are an important item of clothing for premature babies who have been born from the warm environment of the womb early, therefore require support to maintain a body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius,” she said.

“Babies in the unit are nursed in heated humidicribs so need minimal clothing while in there, however when they are taken out of their cribs for skin-to-skin cuddles with mum or dad, the use of beanies is strongly encouraged.

“We’re very grateful to the Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists Association for making these special gifts for our tiniest patients and helping brighten the days of the parents of these babies in such an overwhelming time.”

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