Saving tiny lives on the neonatal unit
Thanks to your support the new Neonatal Unit can care for seriously premature babies born at just 27 weeks.
The former special care baby unit at Frimley Park Hospital looked after babies born with a wide range of complications.
- 6,000 births expected in 2016
- More than 600 babies require urgent specialist care every year
The unit had become a cramped space for families who were emotionally and physically exhausted from giving birth.
There were few opportunities for privacy and skin-on-skin contact between mother and baby while the babies were on ventilators. The unit had no accommodation for families of seriously ill babies and those giving cause for concern often had to be sent to other hospitals many miles away to be assessed.
How you helped
Every baby born with complications is now receiving better care in a more comfortable environment. A wider range of problems are being treated more effectively at the hospital while keeping families closer to home.
The saving tiny lives appeal was launched in February 2012 to provide a wide range of specialist equipment for a new neonatal unit that was being built by the hospital. Thanks to the generous contributions of the community, everything provided was enough to upgrade the space to a level two neonatal unit.
This means they are able to treat premature babies from 27 weeks gestation and so even more families can be treated closer to home.
Some of the key equipment provided includes:
- Three high dependency cots with specialist monitors to diagnose and track problems with the babies’ vital organs.
- Six vapotherm devices to assist with breathing difficulties and provide high oxygen flow therapy. The devices are far less invasive and fragile than before. Mother of two Christina Yau spent time on both the old and the new units and had this to say while her second baby Florence was in the neonatal unit in May 2014: “Now you have these vapotherm devices I can touch Florence and give her the affection she needs. They are just fantastic”.
- A cerebral function monitor that assesses the brain function of those babies giving cause for concern.
- A cooling mat which cools down the bodies of babies who suffer oxygen loss at birth to a precise temperature to prevent serious brain damage.
- Comfy chairs next to every cot and breast feeding chairs to ensure that mothers can have close contact with their babies and comfortably breast feed in those vital first few days and weeks of life.
The neonatal unit opened in December 2014 and HRH Sophie Countess of Wessex was the guest of honour at an official opening event on18th March 2014.
“I want to say well done to everyone for your fundraising and for all the work you do to help thousands of families – your service is the difference between life and death. It is a great working environment and the results you are having are testament to this investment. It has been something really important in my life and so I thank you again for inviting me here today”
HRH Sophie Countess of Wessex