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Report for 2016

Gratitude for the support to the Children's Hospital and the little patients in 2016. On behalf of the patients, their parents and the hospital staff we say our heartfelt thanks for your donations to the Children's Hospital! 

Support to the Children's Hospital patients:

  • altogether 352 children received support, including:
    • support to 128 children who required additional examinations that were not available in Latvia, or drugs that were not reimbursed by the state, or the child's state of health was so complicated and serious that treatment had to be continued outside Latvia;
    • the cost of medical help outside Latvia was met for more than 50 patients of the Children's Hospital. The costs of treatment abroad include the patient's, the escorting person's and attending doctor's travel and accommodation costs, travel costs to post-surgery follow up (once a year after a transplantation);
    • support for buying specialised food for more than 45 children aged from 6 months to 2.5 years. The attending doctor has prescribed special nutrition to each of these children based on their medical indications, which means that it is not possible for a child to live and develop without this food.
    • help was provided to 116 children who needed it for improving their health or quality of life after being treated at the Children's Hospital – as part of the campaign Angels above Latvia;
    • as part of the campaign Goodness Days, Markuss, Kaspars, Monta and Katrīna were helped so that they can recover and move around without being assisted;
    • it was made possible for the little patients from 46 families to get home wherever in Latvia, altogether 133 trips. Doctors are closely monitoring the child's health and try to let him or her go home as often as possible. It is especially important for patients who have been seriously ill for a long time and who are missing the environment and people who are supporting them emotionally – which means being at home – when it is possible between the stages of therapy;
  • support the participation of the former Children's Hospital patients in the International Children's Games of Winners  in Moscow, which is a unique sports competition for children who have challenged an oncological disease;
  • support the visit of paediatric guest surgeons Prof. Risto Rintala and Seppo Taskinen from Helsinki, to perform complicated surgeries on the patients of the Children's Hospital, in cooperation with their Latvian peers. Professor's royalty, travel and accommodation cost was paid for by the Children's Hospital Foundation;
  • support the visit of Prof. Eugene Minevich from Cincinnati, OH, USA, to the Children's Hospital, who performed surgical demonstrations, delivered a series of lectures to the physicians of the hospital, as well as consulted other patients of the Children's Hospital with similar health conditions. Together with Prof. E.Minevich, two surgeries with the highest degree of complexity were performed for the first time in Latvia, comprising enlarging of bladder and creating continence mechanism for patients with complicated congenital urogenital pathologies;
  • initiate the designing of support programme for families who have experienced liver transplantation. Right now we are identifying what is it that our patients need most. As the first step, there is a decision to provide a series of psychologist's consultations both for the patients and the donors at their place of residence. At a further stage of the programme, the families will be brought together on a regular basis, with an aim to identify their interest and the needs of patients – whether these are regular meetings with the participation of medical staff and psychologists, or maybe family camps, because often the little brothers and sisters need the same support if their sibling is seriously ill.

Support to the improvement of the Children's Hospital environment:

  • finalise the reconstruction of the new premises of the Haemato Oncology Department. In November, the patients of Haemato Oncology were admitted for treatment in the new premises of the unit; at this moment, they are fully equipped with everything that is necessary, in order to ensure professional treatment to children and also a pleasant and comfortable environment relevant to the profile of the disease;
  • set up a new playground at the Gaiļezers site of the Children's Hospital for children with impaired mobility! Already in spring, when snow will be gone, children will be able to spend some time outside their ward and the hospital building;
  • reconstruct and upgrade the playgrounds at the Torņakalns site of the Children's Hospital;
  • open a new bright-looking and cosy corner in the premises of the out-patient department of the Children's Hospital, where children can play together while waiting for their appointment with a doctor. In most cases, children are upset and scared when they have to go to the hospital, therefore the first impression matters – children should have assurance that due care will be taken of them here;
  • procure equipment for the Psychiatric clinic, including pshychodiagnostic materials, equipment for art therapy, ergo therapy equipment, music therapy equipment, as well as the equipment necessary for speech therapy. Our specialists are keeping in pace with the newest treatment methods and try to use as little medication therapy (meaning drugs) as possible, and try to help with alternative treatment methods which are much more pleasant for a child and less harmful in the long term;
  • in the Children's Hospital library, to implement a very important and first-time project for visually impaired patients. As part of the project, a comfortable and safe place specially adjusted for these children was set up, and a typhlo pedagogy programme was developed; librarians and volunteers were trained in its implementation, special material purchased and the implementation of the programme has started;
  • already for the second year, organise a garden party on the occasion of the International Day for Protection of Children and invite the little patients, their parents and the hospital staff, and together with Latvian chefs create a festival and demonstrate an example that healthy food can be very delicious and easy to cook, too;
  • already for the 4th time, to design and publish an activities book Get Well with Pleasure for the little patients. This year, various interest clubs participated in creating the book, and each contributed an activity. We hope that maybe a patient, while staying at the hospital and dealing with the problems and activities in the book, will develop interest in chess, photography or any other entertaining activity;
  • to upgrade a special training kitchen for patients with diabetes and excess weight at both sites of the Children's Hospital. A programme for adipose teenagers is organised at the Children's Hospital since 2014. Up to now, there were only theory classes, but now there is also practical training for patients and their parents about nutrition. As part of the projects, the kitchen was accommodated and kitchen utensils and training materials procured.
  • to open new premises A Pause at the Gaiļezers site for children with special needs. Children may stay here up to 45 days per year under the care of medical staff and pedagogues, thereby making the everyday life at least a bit easier for those parents who are taking care of a child with special needs. Social teachers, assistant nurses, special pedagogue, social worker and nurse will work at the centre;
  • to provide 38 beds for the parents of the little patients, so that it is more comfortable to stay in the ward for the night. The parents of older patients (above 5 years) are kindly invited to stay next to the child during the day and spend the night in the Parents' House, to take a quality rest and be able to support the child during the day. For children under five, mum or another person, if co-ordinated with the hospital staff in advance, may stay in the ward overnight provided there is a spare bed;
  • procure patient evacuation sheets for 36 beds, to comply with fire safety regulations. An evacuation sheet is for fast evacuation of non-ambulant patients when a fire breaks out;
  • to start updating various information materials about oncological and haematological diseases, so that children and their parents could receive information in a perceptible and understandable form about the anticipated treatment process, different manipulations and other important questions they have after learning that they have been diagnosed with cancer;
  • to develop support programme for the Oncology, which includes the existing support measures, the recently implemented necessary improvements on the hospital side, as well as the ideas requiring financial support;
  • to start the setting up the control centre of fire detection and alarm system at the Torņakalns site;
  • to have a single TV broadcasting system at both sites of the hospital. 45 TV sets have been procured and connected in a single system. The implementation of the system makes it possible for children who are staying at the hospital for a long time to watch TV shows or use Internet in the playrooms and wards. Centralised broadcasting system allows, in case of necessity, to use it for internal announcements and broadcasting of other information necessary for the hospital patients. The TV broadcasting system is controlled and monitored in a centralised way, so there is no extra duty for the staff to monitor it;
  • to procure child's development desks and chairs for the Genetics, designated for observation of a child's development at the time of the consultation: irritability, attention and motility;
  • to support the wall paintings in the premises of the Department No. 4, to give a more friendly and cosy appearance to the hospital environment for the children and their parents;
  • to procure a sofa for the recreation and training room at the Intensive Therapy, where parents meet eye-to-eye with a psychologist or a psychotherapist;
  • to procure mirrors for the doctor's offices, to enable quality assessment of the child's development according to Hammersmith functional motor scale; auxiliary device for physical therapist, to be used for exercising the child to enhance the physical development and for observation; auxiliary aid kits for the child's psychomotoric development assessment; technical materials for doctor's offices, document filing and storage;
  • to accommodate the waiting room for the day in-patient unit, as well as to procure furniture for the Intensive Therapy and Neonatal Intensive Therapy recreation rooms, so that parents can feel more comfortably while waiting for their children who are having an examination, surgery or another manipulation. Likewise, at the Vienības gatve site, we have been able to improve the conditions for the expecting mothers in the Genetics, whereas we have set up a breastfeeding room and a recreation and playroom for children at the Gaiļezers site;
  • to procure 500 colourful pillow-cases to boost their stock, for improving the looks of the wards;
  • to procure materials for the interest education of the Children's Hospital patients;

Support to the development of medical treatment services and quality enhancement:

  • to raise funds for launching the programme The Safe Cape for prematurely born babies. The purpose of the programme is to improve the health of these babies in the long term and promote their successful integration into society, including lowering the rates of developing a disability among the prematurely born patients. Starting 1 January 2016, the care programme for prematurely born babies is funded by the state;
  • to procure rehabilitation equipment that will further help the children to recover. With the support of donors, two types of equipment have been procured for the Gaiļezers site – exercise bikes and treadmill will help children to recover from extremities trauma and will improve their physical stamina - especially for children with impaired mobility and those being overweight. On the other hand, verticalizer and auxiliary equipment for sitting will enable children with impaired mobility to better involve themselves in the rehabilitation exercises and to learn self-care skills, as well as will reduce the risks of contractures and osteoporosis;
  • to procure 55 functional beds and bedside tables for patients, that allow children feeling better, especially at the treatment periods when they have to stay in bed and any movement is hard to make;
  • to initiate the development of the nosocomial infections monitoring programme with an aim to describe the Neonatal IT nosocomial infection data and risk factors and to identify and analyse the outbreaks of infections, with an objective to reduce them. The monitoring will be done across Latvia in all Neonatal Intensive Therapies – in Riga (3), Jēkabpils, Valmiera and Liepāja;
  • to provide a paid-for inhalable nitric oxide (iNO) therapy, which is needed for patients with dangerously high blood pressure in lung artery (or small circle of blood circulation). Such condition is life-threatening, because due to obstructed blood circulation in lungs blood does not get saturated with oxygen enough, which may cause right-sided heart failure. iNO therapy is used to manage breathing failure with new-borns, when the blood pressure in lungs is dangerously high, as well as after heart surgery, when there is a high risk of developing high blood pressure in lungs and/or right-sided heart failure. For the time being, the state does not pay for this therapy;
  • to procure 15 infusion stands for the Pulmonology;
  • to procure for the neurosurgery patients endoscopy equipment for treatment of cranial pathologies. Intracranial neuroendoscopy system LOTTA will enable neurosurgery with the endoscopy method, which involves little invasion, is less traumatic, and the recovery period is shorter;
  • to procure comfort care heated bed for the Neonatology (heat supplied from below through heat mattress and heat-emitting lamp from above) as well as LED photo therapy lamps for removal of indirect bilirubin while the baby is in the incubator or in the heated bed;
  • to procure test materials for the Psychiatric Clinic of the Children's Hospital, to enable the work of paediatric psychiatrists and clinical psychiatrists with autism patients. The materials are necessary for quality and accurate examination, identification of disturbances and determining the severity grade of the illness;
  • to procure capnography module and measuring of the CO2 levels for the existing fan, to ensure uninterrupted monitoring of respiratory gases for artificially ventilated patients, which is especially important for patients with cranial trauma and patients after heart surgeries;
  • to procure 3D probe (xMatrix X6-1) and software (Live 3D software, QLAB qualification software 3DQ) for the ultrasonic equipment, in order to improve the performance of Medical Genetics and Prenatal Diagnostics Clinic's ultrasonic equipment and to enhance its functionality;
  • in support of the radiology unit, to procure protective equipment (43 pieces) that is necessary to minimise the exposure of the staff and patients to ionising radiation;
  • to procure gel positioning aids (68 pieces) for the Surgery unit, which are needed to prevent bedsores;
  • to procure FagoFlowEX diagnostic kits for the laboratory, which are necessary for the differential diagnosis process in the cases of grave immunodeficiency conditions;
  • to procure devices for neurologists – ophtalmoscope Pan Optic and tuning fork;

Support to the development of the Children's Hospital staff:

  • to support the development of physicians, nurses, as well as hospital's support staff by meeting the entry, travel and accommodation costs when attending international congresses, conferences and trainings, and also the royalties for foreign specialists in experience sharing programmes, as well as by procuring and subscribing to educational publications;
  • owing to the Riga City Council financing, to implement the project Friendship Code, the aim of which is to promote tolerance and eliminate any type of discrimination potentially to be faced by the patients or their parents at the Children's Hospital due to their non-typical appearance and behaviour. As part of the project, both the staff of the Children's Hospital as well as the volunteers from the Parents' House were trained, where they acquired or supplemented their skills and knowledge for the specific work in the departments of the Children's Hospital, but they also had an opportunity to get engaged in creative and useful leisure and informal education activities that contribute to the personal development and get them prepared for providing support and volunteer work in a multicultural environment;
  • to finalize the project Children-friendly Society co-financed by the EEA financial instrument, which included the development of a social service model about the services provided by the PH, and brochures have been prepared about the Parents' House and the loss of a child. As part of the project, seminars were organised for the care staff and the volunteers from the PH, expanding their knowledge about communication and interpersonal skills, as well as about the role of mother's milk in the development of a premature born baby, and the participants were made familiar with practising mindfulness. To reduce the burnout syndrome, 12 Balint group sessions were held for the CCUN patient support personnel;
  • to support the Baltic Haematology Conference, comprising a separate programme for paediatric haemato oncologists from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Hungary and Sweden, supported by the Children's Hospital Foundation. The Baltic Haematology Conference is organised every other year. All doctors appreciate the opportunity to meet their peers and share experience;
  • to support the conference organised by the Children's Hospital Patient Safety in Clinical Practice - Reality and Challenges in the 21st Century. Doctors from England and the Netherlands participated in the conference, which are active in the patient safety field both in their own country and on international level. The conference was attended by ~600 medical professionals and others working in the health care sector, administrators and quality managers, students, existing and would-be lawyers, journalists, representatives of patient organisations and other stakeholders;
  • to organise the conference Practising mindfulness in health care – how health care specialists can help themselves and their patients, followed by a master class by Dr.Phil. Paul Grossman, founder of the European Centre for Mindfulness, and Dr.Med. Gabriele Geiger-Stapel, working in her psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine praxis in Freiburg (Germany), as well as Mg.Psych, Mg.Ves.Apr. Indra Majore-Dūšele, dance and movement therapist, psychologist-psychotherapist and a founder of the centre Miervidi. The conference provided evidence-based information about the connection between practising mindfulness and medicine and health care, as well as there was a possibility to hear professionals who are have been researching and also practising mindfulness for years. During the conference workshops and master classes were held;
  • to support HOPE programme also this year: the topic of 2016 is “Quality above all! Challenges in the changing hospital and health care environment". HOPE programme lasted from 28 April until 28 May. Under this programme, our hospital was the host for two nurses-managers from Spain. The Ministry of Health, Health Inspectorate, Patient Ombud, P.Stradiņš' CUS, the Riga ECUH, Maternity Hospital and the Jūrmala Hospital participated in the implementation of the programme. Under the HOPE programme two our specialists went to share the experience – Dr. Džeims Rozītis went to Denmark and Dr. Ieva Eglīte went to Austria;
  • to support the laparoscopy seminar in respect of paediatric surgery;
  • to procure books Pediatric Allergy: Principles and Practice, 3e, Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory, as well as Hodson and Geddes' Cystic Fibrosis.

Most sincere thanks to all donors and absolutely everybody who organised activities on their own with the goal to support the Children's Hospital and its patients – they were schoolchildren, parents of the former patients, peers and colleagues from work – your care and help is very important for us, and we appreciate it from all our hearts!