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Newborns in Need appeal boosted on awareness day

WPD 1Medics at a Birmingham neonatal unit have been busy raising money for premature babies as well as raising awareness by turning a hospital purple for the day.

A group of nurses, consultants and staff from the neonatal unit at Heartlands Hospital set up an information stand at the hospital to mark World Prematurity Day and raised money for the Newborns in Need appeal. The appeal is run by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust Charity and raises funds towards the purchase of vital equipment, such as breathing machines, incubators and sophisticated monitoring equipment, to support the over 1,000 babies admitted every year in the busy unit.

While across the world buildings, bridges and monuments were lit up purple, at Heartlands, a ‘chain reaction’ was launched across the hospital with visitors and staff asked to wear purple ribbons and then pass one on to the next person they met to spread awareness of World Prematurity Day.

Hollie Daniels, discharge nurse on the unit, said: “Each year, 15 million babies are born premature – that’s 29 babies every minute. Heartlands Neonatal Unit accommodates babies who are born as early as 23 weeks into pregnancy, requiring specialised high-tech equipment to keep them alive.

“The money raised through fundraising provides these babies with a high quality service to ensure the best quality of care.”

Over £200 was raised on the day and staff on the stand held special simulation sessions of premature birth procedures, with an incubator and resuscitator on display. The Southern West Midlands Maternity & Newborn Network attended the event and awarded the neonatal staff a prize for the best initiative organised by the network’s members.

Neonatal consultant Dr Pinki Surana said: “It was a great fundraising event, making the public aware of the challenges involved with preterm birth, both for families and professionals. Preterm birth, especially early in the pregnancy, can have a life-long impact.

“There is always more to be done, not only to improve the care for these babies in our neonatal intensive care units, but also to improve the experience of parents and family.”

For more information about Newborns in Need and how to donate to the appeal visit or contact the fundraising team on 0121 424 3838.

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