Charity donation will help Maternity staff save babies’ lives in Bradford

Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Maternity Unit has received three new pulse oximetry machines thanks to the generous support of Tiny Tickers, a charity that aims to give a better start to tiny hearts.

The machines are just one of the ways to improve the early detection and care of babies with serious heart conditions.

Sara Hollins, Head of Midwifery at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has a personal connection to the donation as her mum, Linda Atkins, has raised over £3,000 for the Tiny Tickers charity in memory of her granddaughter, Ruby, who sadly died of a congenital heart defect when just a few days old.

Sara said: “We’re delighted with the new machines; it’s such a generous donation and will really help us with the monitoring which identifies heart defects early. My mum chose this charity as it’s close to her heart and wanted to help other babies.”

Newborn screening for a congenital heart defect involves a simple bedside test called pulse oximetry. This test estimates the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood, as low levels can indicate problems.

Pulse oximeters measure oxygen levels (oxygen saturation) through sensors placed on the baby’s skin.

All babies born in Bradford already have their oxygen levels tested – as we are a pilot site for this test, but the additional oximetry machines mean they are more easily accessible for the Maternity Unit’s Birth Centre staff and the home birth team.

Jon Arnold, Tiny Tickers’ Chief Executive, said: “It’s Tiny Tickers’ ambition that every newborn baby in the UK is offered this test, so I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to donate three machines that will be used to test babies in the Bradford area.

“We’re incredibly grateful to all our supporters who have contributed to this project, which has now seen us place nearly 90 free machines in NHS trusts around the UK.”

• Pictured: from left, Sister for Maternity Ward, Claire Townsend, and Midwife, Katy Ward, with the new pulse oximetry machines.