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Friends of the Hospital – Heart scanner donation

The Friends of the Hospital have recently donated over £87,000 towards a new Vivid E95 Cardiac Echo Machine for Gwithian Unit, enabling babies and children with suspected heart defects to be diagnosed and monitored in Cornwall.

This replaces the previous heart scanner in the unit, with state of the art technology, enabling data to be sent straight to Bristol Hospital for review and diagnosis.

Dr Sam Padmanabhan, Paediatric Consultant with special interest in Cardiology, explained how this piece of equipment prevents young patients and their families having to travel to Bristol for heart scans, as well as follow up appointments after surgery. “Since we have received this Cardiac Echo machine from The Friends of the hospital, we have performed about 575 scans in the last 8 months, an average of 3 scans a day” stated Dr Padmanabhan.

“We’ve been able to use this piece of equipment to diagnose heart defects in children till their sixteenth birthday. If a heart defect was discovered on performing the scan, arrangements would be put in place for them to go to Bristol for heart surgery. Following their surgery, the follow up appointments can be carried out at Royal Cornwall Hospital, so we can monitor how the heart is functioning, with the data being sent to Paediatric Cardiologists at Bristol via this machine. It is a fantastic piece of equipment and many families have already benefitted from it. We really are so grateful to the Friends of the Hospital for this invaluable contribution.”

For Daniel Kiely, who lives in Newquay, this machine has played a key factor in diagnosing his 3 month old son, Thomas with a heart defect, after discovering his oxygen levels had deteriorated following his 36 hourly check. “Thomas was taken to infant intensive care for an in-depth review and after having a heart scan using this new machine, it was discovered Thomas had a heart defect” explained Daniel.

“This equipment that the Friends kindly raised funds for and supplied to the hospital has been a key factor in ensuring the initial data was analysed and available to Dr Padmanabhan and also the visiting cardiologist, Mrs Hayes to form an initial diagnosis, which was so important, as it meant Thomas was able to go to Bristol immediately to receive specialist care.”

Thomas has since had two heart surgeries at Bristol Hospital but is now back in Cornwall with his family, with dad, Daniel stating how well he is doing. “This amazing donation from The Friends of the Hospital has been a life changing piece of equipment and it is still helping Thomas and all of us, as we can travel from Newquay to Truro to have regular scans of his heart which gives all the data the cardiologist needs to analyse how his surgery is performing and how his recovery is coming on.”

“As a young family, a short trip across to Truro makes a huge difference than having to travel to Bristol or further afield, so I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has raised any funds towards this machine, as its right now still having a life changing impact on us and it subsequently will do for the foreseeable future.”

Beatrice Dyer, Chairman of the Friends of the Hospital stated they were more than happy to support this request and are thrilled that it is helping so many young patients and their families. “When we were approached to supply this piece of equipment, we were delighted to enhance the care that our staff on Gwithian Ward are able to provide for children in our county with heart problems and also to save a family a day traveling to Bristol and back for a consultation” explained Beatrice. “This piece of equipment works alongside the video conferencing that we provided a few years ago. This all ensures that children in our county get quickest and best care possible.”

Added on July 17, 2017, in News - Volunteering & Friends