Early last year, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Children’s Hospital received an urgent call for help. A Wairarapa woman, just 24 weeks into her pregnancy, was bleeding heavily and required an emergency caesarean. Since Wairarapa Hospital is not able to adequately tend to such a premature delivery, it was down to the Wellington Hospital’s flight team to reach the mother and save her baby’s life.
Funded by generous donations by people like you, Wellington Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Transport system emulates the environment of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It was able to monitor and adjust the tiny, 600-gram baby’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, arterial blood gases, expiratory CO2 levels and oxygen saturation levels throughout the life-saving journey to hospital.
Upon landing at Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital, the transport incubator was wheeled straight into the neonatal unit. Thanks to this cutting-edge piece of equipment and specialist Neonatal Doctors and Nurses, the baby, despite arriving 16 weeks early, survived.
It’s because of these specialised services that extremely premature babies have greatly increased chances of survival. And, while Wellington Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is considered to be one of the best in Australasia, demand is increasing.
Last year, Wellington Hospital’s Medical Flight Teams completed around 400 Air Ambulance baby transfers and 700 inter/intra-hospital road transfers. And, as the population and rate of multiple births increases, these numbers will only continue to grow. That’s why a second transport incubator is desperately needed, so that more than one baby may be transferred at one time – something that will be particularly beneficial for premature twins.
As part of its “Little Lives, Big Journeys” appeal, Wellington Hospitals Foundation is calling on the community to help raise $212,000, allowing a second custom-built Transport System to be purchased so the Wellington Hospital Flight Team can continue their essential work of saving these tiny lives in Wellington and beyond.
If you are able, please help out. To make a donation to the “Little Lives, Big Journeys” appeal, click here.