Help bring PAL® to WVU Medicine Children's!
Although this AdvancingWVU campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to support this cause, you may always do so at https://give.wvu.edu/PhysicalTherapy and select 'Music Therapy Fund.'
What is Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL®)?
Some 500,000 of babies born in the US each year are premature. Unlike full-term babies who are able to eat on their own right away, they need to learn how to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing so they can breast or bottle feed instead of receiving nourishment through a feeding tube, or intravenously. The Pacifier Activated Lullaby System, or PAL, was invented to assist premature babies learn the motor skills used in breast or bottle feeding.
How does PAL® work?
The PAL teaches premature babies how to properly coordinate these feeding skills while strengthening needed muscles in the mouth and throat, and can be adjusted to individual needs. The baby sucks on the pacifier, and when he or she does so correctly, the pacifier sends a signal to a speaker that rewards their efforts by playing lullabies. The speaker has an LCD screen so medical personnel and parents can monitor progress. It also has a sealed case for easy cleaning and infection control.
Research has shown through the use of PAL, infants:
- Can increase sucking pressure
- Are able to take more oral feedings a day
- Have a greater intake per minute and a higher total oral intake per day
- Have an earlier transition to full oral feedings
- Get discharged from the hospital earlier
The West Virginia University music therapy program wishes to bring this system to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine Children’s in Morgantown.
“Music immediately makes a human connection; it was a part of our culture long before language was. I want nothing more than my friends, family and neighbors to have access to this in our community.”
- Amy Rodgers Smith, M.M.T., assistant professor in the West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Therapy and the university’s first healthcare-focused music therapist
How You Can Help!
In order to provide this therapy for our NICU infants, we are asking for your help! Our goal is to raise at least $5,000.00, which would allow us to purchase one PAL® unit and 20 sensors.
Each sensor (1) lasts 4 hours. The minimum session time for an infant is 15 minutes and it takes an average of 5 sessions per baby to suck effectively enough to feed. On average, each infant will take a minimum of 1/3 of each sensor's time (1 hour 15 minutes).
Reaching this goal will enable us to help approximately 60 NICU infants! Thank you for your consideration and please know your donation will help make a huge difference in a child’s life in our local community!
Powers Medical Devices, LLC