One in seven babies in the UK needs specialist neo natal care after they are born. These babies may be born too early or with a low birth weight, or have a medical condition that needs treatment.
Nearly 3,500 children are born in Croydon University Hospital every year, with over 400 babies requiring a stay in the neo natal unit. The unit supports up to 26 babies and includes four intensive care cots, five high dependency cots, and 17 special care cots.
The unit is in need of a new incubator to help protect new babies from germs and infection while they heal from an illness. Incubators ensure that babies stay warm and are able to regulate their body temperature. Babies cannot adjust to temperature changes as well as adults and can lose heat nearly four times faster, which puts them at increased risk of hypothermia.
The incubator will replace old equipment and improve the care and and support given premature and sick babies, including those with complex needs such as Down’s syndrome. It will also prevent premature and sick babies from experiencing prolonged cold stress, which can cause oxygen deprivation, hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis and rapid depletion of glycogen stores.