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Maternity wards accross the UK to benefit from machines that help detect heart defects

by | NEWS, HEALTH talk | 0 comments

Maternity wards across the UK to benefit from machines that help detect heart defects, one of the leading causes of infant deaths.
Tiny Tickers is launching a national campaign, Test for Tommy, as part of an ambition to ensure that no baby will die from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

Simple monitors that can help detect serious heart conditions soon after birth, are to be offered to maternity wards across the country to improve early detection rates of congenital heart disease, thanks to the charity, Tiny Tickers. To date 70 machines have been funded across the country; which will benefit more than 105,000
newborns each year.

A baby is born with a serious heart condition every two hours in the UK and, despite congenital heart disease
being one of the biggest killers of infants in the UK, only around half of congenital heart defects are picked up
during routine prenatal scanning.

Every year, approximately 1,000 newborn babies leave hospital with their heart defect undetected. Some of these babies are at risk of heart failure and death if their condition is not diagnosed in time.

Natasha Pye’s son Tommy, whom this campaign is in memory of, tragically passed away at 11 days old. Natasha says: “We now know that Tommy had a congenital heart defect that could be corrected with surgery. If only his condition had been detected, he could be alive today.”

Tiny Tickers, the national charity that aims to improve early detection, diagnosis and care of babies with heart conditions, wants to change this situation in the UK.

Thanks to this charity, maternity units across Yorkshire and Humber and the East and West Midlands, have already received the pulse oximetry machines that can indicate heart or respiratory issues quickly and effectively by measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood. If the reading determines a lower level than expected (under 95 per cent) the baby can then be referred for further tests.

One Pulse Ox machine costs £725.

Not every newborn with heart problems is born displaying symptoms, and these machines will mean fewer babies will leave
hospital with undetected – and potentially life-threatening – defects.

Tiny Tickers are now requesting support to achieve their ambition of 330 machines being placed by 2021. Each machine costs around £725 to buy and place in a hospital.

Dr Elspeth Brown, a consultant paediatric and fetal cardiologist at Leeds Congenital Heart unit and Lead Clinician of the Yorkshire and Humber Congenital Heart Disease Network, says: “We really welcome this initiative from Tiny Tickers which will undoubtedly save lives.”

CEO, Jon Arnold, says: “What started with one machine for one hospital – paid for thanks to the generosity of our supporters – has already become one of our biggest projects. I know how much this project means to our supporters who have experience with CHD. I know how much they want this test performed for all newborns, and I’m proud we’re helping make that happen. We already know the difference we’re making. One of the hospitals from our pilot scheme – one of the first to receive a machine – has already been in touch to say a baby’s heart condition was spotted following the test, using the machine we funded.”

Text BABY46 £5 to 70070 to donate to the Test for Tommy campaign and help support more tiny hearts.

More information:

Tiny Tickers helps babies with congenital heart disease (CHD), their families and the health professionals who look
after them. We want every baby with a serious heart condition to have the best chance of survival and quality of
life.

www.tinytickers.org
Twitter @tinytickers
Facebook @tinytickers

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