'Life-saving' heart scanner donated to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | Latest news

'Life-saving' heart scanner donated to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

A heart scanner worth £73,000 that can detect undiagnosed congenital heart defects in premature and new-born babies has been donated to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal Derby Hospital.

The independent charity, Friends of the Baby Unit (FOBU), presented the Echocardiology Heart Scanner to staff in NICU on Friday 10 May after raising the funds to purchase the machine in only four months.

The scanner is used to identify and stabilise babies with congenital heart defects, which are problems or anomalies in the structure of the heart, often detected soon after birth, in new-born and premature babies.

Dr Gitika Joshi, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Expert in Cardiology at UHDB, said: “This equipment will make a huge difference to us in the department. It’s a life-saving piece of equipment as it helps us to get better quality images of the heart, enabling us to get patients the best possible care in a timely fashion.”

“The machine will enable us to detection congenital heart disease appropriately and thus improve the survival rate of the babies. It will also improve the quality of life, by improving the co-morbidities that are associated with delayed detection of congenital heart disease.”

The addition of the new scanner will further increase the capacity of our paediatric cardiology service, which already sees around 1,600 patients a year in the outpatients department, with around 600 of these patients being new referrals for assessment of heart disease.

Catherine Repton, Founder of Friends of the Baby Unit, raised the £73,000 in just four months between September and December.

She added: “It’s amazing how quickly the money came in during these months. Donating this equipment to the hospital will see more and more babies get the best care and the best start to life they possibly can.”

Sir Stephen Moss, Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director at UHDB, said: “I’d like to thank the Friends of the Baby Unit for everything that they do, it just amazes me. It doesn’t get any better than helping babies and their families, so a huge thank to all of those who donated and to all of our staff who work in NICU.”