Imagine holding a diaper that fits in the palm of your hand. That’s exactly what four Quail Creek residents did on May 30 when they toured the Neonatal ICU at Banner University Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Members of Fabrics Plus have been supporting the babies in the Neonatal ICU for more than a year by sewing soft, colorful flannel blankets in lieu of plain hospital issued bedding. To date, over 550 blankets have been made. Unlike adults, these infants stay in the hospital for weeks and sometimes months before they have grown sufficiently to finally go home. The color and variety add a “lift” to the babies’ parents and other family visitors who are understandably overwhelmed by monitors, IV solutions and other technical equipment supporting their infants’ complicated medical needs.
Because the blankets have been so well received by the families, the hospital staff requested that the Fabrics Plus members evaluate the feasibility of making colorful, fitted crib mattress covers and specialty mattress covers. A prototype crib mattress cover was given to the Nursing staff for feedback; a second prototype will be developed before moving to production. The tour also allowed the visiting club members to see and touch the specialty mattress, view how the fit is customized around each infant and ask questions about other requirements including how these covers would be used. Imagine a desk blotter sized mattress about two inches thick filled with a soft, Silly Putty-like product which is preheated before cuddling around the infant and all his/her equipment within the Isolette. After discussion with the Nursing staff, measurements were taken and designs were proposed.
This project is an ongoing charity project for the Fabrics Plus members. All blankets are donated to the hospital for the care of their very tender babies.