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MedEquip4Kids has provided a Voluson ultrasound machine for the maternity unit at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan. Pictured above is mum-to-be Eloise Beswick, who was being scanned when MedEquip4Kids visited the unit last week to see the new equipment.

The Voluson ultrasound machine was funded thanks to a grant from the Zochonis Charitable Trust, as well as the fundraising efforts of Christine Stout, who sadly lost her baby son Jack to sudden infant death syndrome. Christine and her family and friends have been dedicated to raising funds for MedEquip4Kids, including taking part in charity runs.

The scanner is used on average four or five times per day, mainly to carry out liquor volume scans for patients who attend with reduced fetal movements. In addition, it is used to confirm fetal presentation (the position in which the baby is about to be born). Senior doctors use the ultrasound to perform growth scans and Doppler scans, which measure the baby’s blood flow to determine its health. The machine plays a valuable role in providing immediate reassurance for patients who attend for cardiotocography (monitoring of the fetal heartbeat and uterine contractions).

Voluson ultrasoundThe Voluson ultrasound machine will also play an essential role in a research study called AFFIRM (Can Promoting Awareness of Fetal Movement and Focussing Intervention Reduce Fetal Mortality?) The study aims to gives better access outside of working hours to ultrasound scanning for pregnant women who are experiencing reduced fetal movements, meaning that abnormal findings can be acted on sooner, leading to a decrease in stillbirth rates.

Sarah Suthers, community fundraiser at MedEquip4Kids, says: “We’d like to say a very special thank-you to Christine Stout and team and The Zochonis Charitable Trust for their amazing support. Children and babies deserve the best healthcare and it’s crucial that all the right equipment and support are on hand to give them the best possible chance of a healthy future.”

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“This new incubator has the addition of scales to weigh the baby with the minimum of disruption. It also has integral oxygen, which minimises kit and clutter around the incubator space. We will be able to control the temperature, humidity and oxygen to suit the baby’s individual requirements.”

Julie Armstrong
Lead Nurse, Neo Natal Unit
Wigan Infirmary

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