New Hospital service helps Caboolture kids grow

A new inpatient children’s clinic at Caboolture Hospital is proving to be a godsend for new mums like Glasshouse Mountain’s Sarah Moffat whose baby experienced feeding difficulties.

New clinic at Caboolture Hospital

The new clinic has been a godsend for first time mum Sarah Moffat who gained the necessary support and guidance to better care for her son Chevy who was born 10 weeks premature and experiencing feeding difficulty. She is pictured here with staff from the Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing Service.

Sarah, a first-time mum, gave birth to son Chevy 10 weeks early. She has welcomed the guidance and support she received from the Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing Service to help her son feed properly and consistently gain weight.

“The service was important to me as I learnt a lot; it made a big difference and without it I would have been lost,” Sarah said.

“Chevy has become a really good feeder now, he has maintained his weight and I am no longer worried that he will go backwards.”

Executive Director Dr Lance Le Ray said it was important for the hospital to continue to introduce services that would make a significant difference, especially to our young patients and their families.

“As demand grows, so has the need to enhance our children’s inpatient services to better identify and support newborns and kids who are experiencing feeding and swallowing difficulty (dysphagia),” Dr Le Ray said.

“Of the 2,000 bubs born at Caboolture Hospital each year, close to 20 per cent have feeding and swallowing complications due to being born premature or having a low birth weight.

“These conditions if undetected and untreated can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of children as they grow and develop.”

As part of the new Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing Service, a team of allied health professionals have been assembled to identify and assess newborns, infants and young children at risk of dysphagia and clinical malnutrition at the hospital.

Director of Speech Pathology and Audiology Brooke Cowie said hospital patients were supported through education, early intervention plans, treatment and support.

“This clinic ensures that these kids are also transitioned into longer-term care delivered by Disabilities Service Queensland or other community providers as needed,” Brooke said.

Dr Le Ray said Caboolture Hospital patients requiring outpatient appointments for dysphagia or malnutrition previously would have had to travel to North Lakes Health Precinct, Nambour Hospital or Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

“It is very important to offer paediatric services closer to home to all our patients. It is anticipated that the Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing Service will benefit around 200 local inpatients of the hospital each year,” Dr Le Ray said.

“If unmanaged, feeding and swallowing difficulty in children can lead to a range of developmental and behavioural problems, as well acute conditions such as lung disease, serious digestive problems and diabetes.”

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