19 March 2021

The Trust that runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals has received new pulse oximetry machines to improve the detection and early care of babies with serious heart conditions.

Donated by Tiny Tickers, a charity that aims to give a better start to tiny hearts, the seven pulse oximetry machines have allowed The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs maternity services in Shropshire, to introduce Newborn Early Warning Track and Trigger (NEWTT).

NEWTT supports the care already provided for newborn babies by giving more detailed observations, including oxygen saturations. The monitors will also be used to help improve early detection rates of congenital heart disease (CHD).

SaTH’s seven pulse oximeters were donated as part of the Tiny Tickers’ Test for Tommy campaign, which aims to ensure that all newborns receive the test that could help save their life. They were funded by supporters including Linda Bunce, who shaved her head to raise some of the funds to place these machines. Linda’s grandson, Tommy, who died from undetected congenital heart disease (CHD) in 2015, is the inspiration behind the campaign Test for Tommy.

A baby is born with a serious heart condition every two hours in the UK, however not all congenital heart defects can be detected during routine prenatal scanning and some babies are at risk of falling into the early stage of heart failure if their condition is not diagnosed in time.

Hayley Flavell, Director of Nursing at SaTH, said: “On behalf of the Trust I’d like to thank Tiny Tickers for their generous donation. These pulse oximeters are a great addition to the care mums and newborn babies already receive and help us to take detailed observations which ultimately provides better, safer care.”

Jon Arnold, Chief Executive from Tiny Tickers said: “We are truly delighted that we are able to help in this way and hope that it supports the team to continue to provide the best possible care for babies on the unit.”