Support our TMBU Christmas appeal

We’ve launched an appeal to raise funds for the wonderful Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU), of which we are a vital supporter. Based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, the TMBU provides intensive care for sick and premature babies. Over the years, Rockinghorse has received incredible support for our fundraising of projects for the baby unit; from the very first incubator appeal in the 1960’s, through to our campaign to purchase a specialist Retcam eye scanner in 2014.

This December, we are once again asking supporters to help this outstanding unit. We are raising funds for an X-ray Imaging Machine that will provide staff at the TMBU with an instant X-ray image, allowing immediate modification of lines and tubes on a premature baby. Money raised from the appeal will significantly improve the overall experience of a preterm infant, who typically requires multiple X-rays to be taken during their admission.

Over 550 babies a year are admitted to the TMBU, and it is not uncommon for a baby to require up to 30 X-rays during their stay on the unit. A new digital imaging system is available which would completely change the way in which staff at the TMBU can treat their tiny patients. With your help, we’d love to make this possible.

Why should you support our appeal?

Philip Amess, a consultant at the TMBU, explains more…

“Last year, we performed over 1,730 X-ray examinations on the TMBU. We try to keep X-rays to a minimum, but we are a busy unit, and, in many situations, X-ray imaging remains the best option for guiding our treatments. Every time we undertake an X-ray, we have to wait for our busy but friendly radiography colleagues. They wheel a very large and cumbersome X-ray machine to the cot side and, with a nurse, carefully place an X-ray plate in the incubator under the baby. Precautions are taken to minimise the amount of exposure to radiation and the picture is taken.

It is technically demanding to obtain good quality images for very small babies in incubators, and despite best efforts some images do need repeating. Many of these procedures are to check the position of a line or tube, with repeat X-rays taken following any adjustments. All this takes time, involves further exposure to radiation and most often, distress to the infant. In addition, placing and removing the X-ray plate increases the risk of accidental tube or line displacement for our tiny patients.

The new digital X-ray machine we would love to have on the TMBU has numerous advantages and benefits. One of which is allowing immediate processing of the X-ray image at the cot side. This means the quality of the X-ray may be assured and repeat images to check line positions can be taken without delay, without the need to remove and replace an X-ray plate each time. Ultimately, the process would be much more efficient, and (most importantly) give us images which are of higher quality, and obtained at lower radiation doses for the child. This is, and always will be, our aim on TMBU – to provide the very best patient care on the unit.”

How can you get involved?

It is estimated that one in nine babies born in the UK will spend time on a neonatal unit, so many families experience what it is like to have a poorly new born baby, and the anxiety and worry this can bring. Every day, the amazing neonatal team at the TMBU hold in their hands the most precious and fragile little lives. With the help of our supporters, we can continue to ensure the very best possible standard of care for many years to come.

To support our appeal, please click here to make a donation online, text ROCK00 to 70070 to donate £2, £5, or £10, or call us on 01273 330044 to make a donation over the phone.

Thank you very much for your support and all our best wishes for a very Happy Christmas.

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