Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun
October 13, 2010
It was a family's worst nightmare: A sick newborn sent home from the hospital by doctors who thought she had a common cold dies of a viral infection.
Since Rebecca Rabinowitz died in 2006 at 9 days old, her family has searched for a better diagnostic tool for infants. One method they helped uncover will be put to the test Oct. 18 in Maryland.That's when the University of Maryland Medical Center will begin swiping the noses of children to diagnose quickly up to 10 common viruses that lead to hospitalization of hundreds of thousands of children in the United States each year. The procedure could save critical time for vulnerable newborns, as traditional tests could take weeks.
The technology was purchased by the New Jersey-based R Baby Foundation, a nonprofit named for Rebecca. Grandparents Henry L. Belsky, a Baltimore attorney, and his wife, Brenda, helped raised the $135,000 for a machine and tens of thousands more for its use and research.
"The technology wasn't available for Rebecca," Henry Belsky said. "But other kids can get a diagnosis and be treated and kept alive long enough to recover."