Special Care Baby Unit Incubator Appeal Celebration

21st May 2019: Rotarian Linda attends SCBU event with her family

It was a great pleasure to be invited to attend the Special Care Baby Unit Incubator Appeal presented by Kathy Newman this evening with my daughter, Carolyne and granddaughter, Cara, a 13 year old SCBU baby.
The appeal was launched in March 2018 to raise £175,000 to purchase 5 new incubators. Their present 10 incubators were originally installed at PMH and moved to the GWH when the new building opened, so were in excess of 20 years old.

Due to this amazing campaign, which meant a lot across our community, by Christmas Eve in 2018 Brighter Futures had reached their target and even better to date they have raised £213,239 through kind charities raising and donating the funds to them and have now purchased 8 incubators, taking delivery of them on the 21st March this year.

These machines are now in full use with Brighter Futures, continuing in their quest to raise more funds to purchase a further two incubators at £22,000 each, thus replacing all their old machines. The old machines are to be auctioned off for re-use.

300 to 400 babies are cared for each year by the neonatal unit with 200 of those babies requiring intensive support. 

Babies weights range from 500 grams to 5 kg and babies can be up to 17 weeks premature, with babies from 23 weeks being saved now, thanks to better technology. 

The special features of the new incubators include:

Digitalised and personalised unit which captures the babies name, weight and temperature. The top lifts right up to allow full accessibility to the baby in an emergency along with the sides which can be let down too making emergencies easier to treat. 

The baby can be pulled out on a tray so allowing immobilised mums to gain full access and better contact to the baby as their bed or wheelchair can fit next the tray. This has great benefits for the mother to bond and more importantly a range of benefits for the baby too. 

It has a specialist heating unit as babies must be kept as warm as possible for a better outcome. 

Personal phones can be attached to play the mother’s heart beat for a calming and soothing effect on the baby. 

There is an inbuilt lighting system which minimises impact and disturbance to other babies nearby. 

The presentation included talks by two young girls, who donated money raised themselves, two young mothers who had premature babies recently showing their gratitude to the neonatal unit for their care, efficiency and kindness and Dr Sarah Bates,  a consultant from the neonatal unit. 

The evening ended with tea and coffee and a delicious slice of celebration cake.

On a more personal note, one of the neonatal nurses, Nikki Taylor, was at the presentation who cared for my granddaughter, who was born at 30 weeks. She remembered my daughter and they had quite a catch up on the staff working at that time and the treatment given then and what benefits my daughter sees now for new mums with these new incubators compared to the old ones my granddaughter was in. In the corridor on our way out, there were two old incubators parked by the stairs so I took a photograph for comparison.

Hope you enjoyed the information, and if you have any questions please let me know.

Linda Locke

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Rotarian Linda with daughter Carolyne and granddaughter Cara

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