By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
MUSCATINE, IOWA – Earlier this year, the fetal Doppler monitor in Trinity Muscatine Hospital’s emergency department broke.
A fetal Doppler monitor is a handheld ultrasound transducer used to detect fetal heartbeat for prenatal care, among other functions. “We were borrowing the OB Doppler every time we needed one,” said Penny Crowe, the hospital’s outpatient care director.
Emergency department secretary Edie Groulx wondered if Knights of Columbus Laurent Council 1305 of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish might be able to help. She knew of other KC councils that had donated ultrasound machines, so perhaps the Muscatine council might be able to donate a new fetal Doppler monitor.
The council invited the emergency department physician’s assistant Ben Pohl, who is also a member of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish, to speak about the importance of the fetal Doppler monitor.
Muscatine KC council recorder Jerry Johnson recalled Pohl’s pitch. “He explained what the Doppler was used for and how it benefits the care of child/maternal health. The Doppler is used to assess fetal heart tones during all stages of pregnancy. This assessment is used to determine if any serious conditions might be happening. It is used frequently in the ED for early pregnancy and all the way to later pregnancy.”
Johnson said the pitch was convincing. “The Knights considered this a worthwhile request and wanted to support any pro-life efforts at the local hospital.”
The Knights of Columbus, on a national level, emphasize the statement that when a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy sees signs of humanity in her unborn child, she is less likely to terminate.
In early October, the Muscatine Knights delivered a Huntleigh High Sensitivity Pocket Doppler Model FD1 to the hospital. The monitor cost just under $300.
Crowe is grateful to the Knights for stepping up. “I think that the purchase of this device from the Knights of Columbus just reinforces how connected our community is and how we all work together to provide the best care and best outcomes for our community.”