Specialist Baby Equipment Presented to Local Hospital

To provide brain cooling treatment for oxygen deprived new borns

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Two sets of specialist cooling equipment to protect the brains of newborn babies have been presented to Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital in Shepherds Bush.

A total of four sets were presented to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s neonatal service by The Winnicott Foundation, with the other two going to St Mary's Hospital.

The Trust offers brain-cooling treatment in its neonatal units at the two hospitals to treat babies deprived of oxygen at birth. Their bodies are cooled to 33.5C (normal body temperature is 37C) using a special mattress or body wrap for three days to allow the brain to recover.

The trust says the treatment is successful in reducing death and brain damage in babies treated soon after they are born.

The Winnicott Foundation, an independent charity that raises funds to improve care for premature and sick babies at St Mary’s and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals, raised £90,000 to buy the four sets of new equipment. The money came from families who have benefitted from the cooling therapy, and from special charity events.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust says that around 100 babies a year receive the treatment at St Mary’s and Queen Charlotte’s, the only centres in the North West London Perinatal Network designated as cooling centres with specialist expertise.

The equipment was officially presented by the charity before a gathering of families, charity and hospital staff. Charity Trustee Elliot Lipton said: " We’re delighted to be presenting this equipment to the neonatal units at St Mary’s and Queen Charlotte’s. My twins, who were born prematurely, spent 14 weeks on the unit at St Mary’s and since then many more babies have benefited from the specialist equipment here.

"The partnership between The Winnicott Foundation and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has changed and touched the lives of many parents and their children.

" The cooling technique grew out of research at Queen Charlotte’s and it’s fantastic that The Winnicott Foundation continues to support such important research."

Researchers at Queen Charlotte’s are now looking at how xenon gas can improve the protective effect of cooling on the brain.Trust chief executive, Mark Davies, said: " The Trust, working in partnership with Imperial College London, is one of the first academic health science centres (AHSC) in the UK.  This cooling therapy is an example of what an AHSC does best – bring together research, teaching and clinical service to ensure that patients have access to pioneering treatments as soon as possible.

"I want to thank The Winnicott Foundation on behalf of the Trust for its support of our neonatal units and for helping to bring pioneering research to the patient’s bedside."


October 5, 2012

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