HOSPITALS RATIONING MOTHER'S MILK, INVENTORY CRITICALLY LOW

HOSPITALS RATIONING MOTHER'S MILK, INVENTORY CRITICALLY LOW

Aug 17, 2012 1:50 PM

Salt Lake City – A critical shortage of mother’s milk is forcing hospitals to ration their supply. That means that fragile babies at hospitals throughout Utah will not be getting the milk they need to thrive.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank Depot at University of Utah Health Care’s Redwood Heath Center in Salt Lake City usually sends out more than 500 ounces of milk per week but has experienced a significant drop in donations this summer. The Redwood depot sends the milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Denver, a facility that pasteurizes the product to kill viruses and bacteria before distributing it to hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) throughout the country, including here in Utah.

Neonatologists who take care of the smallest infants call the donated milk “liquid gold,” because it helps sick or pre-term babies grow and survive. Just one ounce of mother’s milk can feed a preterm infant for a day and literally save a life.

More lactating mothers with extra milk are needed to keep up with the demand and help save lives. Mothers in the Salt Lake City area interested in donating should call (877) 458-5503 to begin the screening process.   To learn more about the Salt Lake Mothers’ Milk Donation Center visit: http://healthcare.utah.edu/primarycare/redwood/breastmilk/index.php

A program of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation, the Mother’s Milk Bank is one of 12 operating donor human milk banks in North America. In 2011, the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Denver provided more milk to hospitals than any other bank. The milk is sent to over 80 different hospitals in 24 states supplying milk to babies across the country who have allergies to formula, certain illnesses or need human milk to thrive.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank operates 13 milk collection depots across the United States, seven in Colorado: Boulder, Littleton, Greeley, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Parker, Lonetree; and others in Salt Lake City, Utah; Newberg, OR; Portland, OR; Kansas City, MO; Marshall, MO; and Anchorage, AK.

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Media Contacts

Kathy Wilets
Associate Director , Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 801-581-5717
Email: kathy.wilets@hsc.utah.edu

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