Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is urging people to back a campaign to help buy a revolutionary new baby MRI incubator pod for Leeds Children’s Hospital.

Article by Mark Lavery, Yorkshire Evening Post, Tuesday 15th December

The £155,000 machine they hope to buy is the first of its kind in the UK for babies with congenital heart disease and heart MRI imaging.

The first £150,000 has come from trusts and foundations, organisations and individuals.

The Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Fund’s Just Giving appeal has raised £2,240 towards a £5,000 target to complete the funding for the new machine.

To obtain a useful image of a baby’s heart requires a general anaesthetic, which carries a risk of cardiac arrest, especially in children with a congenital heart defect.

To avoid a general anaesthetic, some babies have a CT scan instead which uses radiation and is linked to an increased incidence of cancer in adult patients with congenital heart disease.

This new MRI incubator or ‘baby pod’ allows babies to be transported directly from the ward into the MRI department, where scans can be conducted free from complications and distress.

Dr Malenka Bissell, clinical lecturer in Paediatric Cardiology, said:

The baby incubator will allow us a safe transfer to the MRI scans without any Covid exposure, it will help us keeping the babies warm during transport and the reduction in noise will make it much more likely babies will stay asleep for the whole scan.

It will also give us the opportunity to add extra equipment to also make it safe for our sicker babies to have an MRI scan.

Sharon Milner, Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, Chief Executive Officer, said:

We are so very near to reaching the target for this wonderful incubator which will improve outcomes for thousands of babies in the future.

This state-of-the-art pod will lead to more successful MRI scans and reduce the risk to the youngest of heart patients.

Please help us support hearts for life over the festive season, and donate what you can. Thank you.

To contribute, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/baby-MRI-incubator.