Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity is raising £22,000 for a Giraffe Omnibed Carestation – a state-of-the-art incubator that will allow Royal Brompton Hospital to care for more premature babies.
Currently Royal Brompton only has one incubator, meaning they can only care for one baby at a time but they need another so that they can treat more premature babies with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The alternative is sending them elsewhere for surgery.
What is PDA?
The ductus arteriosus is a short blood vessel that connect the two main arteries of the heart. This blood vessel is present in all babies after birth but usually closes within a week. Sometimes the duct fails to close by itself – this is called patent ductus arteriosus or PDA. PDA affects 50% of premature babies and, whilst sometimes it closes on its own, some will need to have an operation to close the duct.
Why do we need an incubator?
Royal Brompton is the only place in the UK that can treat premature babies with PDA using catheterisation, which is much less invasive than the surgical alternative and has a quicker recovery time. There is space in Royal Brompton’s catheter laboratory but with only one incubator at the hospital, the Paediatric Team must turn away 25-30% of referrals. These babies will have to have open heart surgery to close the duct.
We are raising £22,000 so that Royal Brompton Hospital can treat more babies like Sarah. Sarah, and her twin Rachel, were born 13 weeks premature. Both had PDA and whilst Rachel’s PDA closed on its own, Sarah required medical intervention. Sarah was referred to Royal Brompton from Northwood Hospital and underwent a catheterisation to close the duct.
Sarah’s mother said, “Having a catheterisation was far less traumatic than open heart surgery, you don’t want to see your tiny baby in bandages”. Sarah could return to Northwood Hospital the evening of the catheterisation and will make a full recovery.
“Sarah was able to go home in a couple of days, which she wouldn’t have been able to do if she had had open heart surgery” said Sarah’s mum, “we just want our baby home as soon as possible”.
Having another incubator would mean more #HappyLittleHearts at our hospital. Help us make sure premature babies don’t need to undergo unnecessary surgery.
Who are we?
Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity funds innovative treatment, equipment and research at our two world-class hospitals, that fall outside of NHS funding. Vital to patients’ lives and well-being, our projects make these specialist heart and lung hospitals not only excellent but extraordinary.