24 November 2022

Pulse oximeters provide better, safer care for newborns

Tiny Tickers, a charity that gives pulse-oximetry machines to maternity units to help diagnose congenital heart defects (CHD) in newborns, has donated ten monitors to the trust.

Newborn screening for a congenital heart defect involves using the pulse oximetry machines to measure oxygen levels (oxygen saturation) through sensors placed on the baby’s skin.

Claire Croft, Midwifery Preceptorship Facilitator and Postnatal Ward Matron, said, “We started the training in November and will be able to provide a full roll-out of the service in December. It is such a simple, quick and non-invasive test that has the potential to save a life – we are using them both in hospital and community settings, and it is great that we can use this method of screening on every baby born within our trust.”

“The pulse oximeters are a great addition to the care mums and newborn babies already receive, and help us to take detailed observations which provides better, safer care. We are very grateful to Tiny Tickers for their kind donation.”

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. Congenital means something that is present at birth and a congenital heart defect can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. They can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. CHDs can vary from mild (such as a small hole in the heart) to severe (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart).

Photo: Nursery nurse Samantha Tilbury uses the monitor on newborn baby Theo.