Prem2Pram Under New Ownership

My name is Rachel and I have a four year old son. My son was born prematurely and was diagnosed at two days old with a congenital heart defect, he had a very rocky neonatal period and we spent many weeks between the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a cardiac paediatric intensive care unit (PICU)  we spent his first Christmas on the NICU before finally bring him home.  He is my only child and the light of my life he amazes me every day.

My experience on the NICU inspired me to create Starting life in NICU which is a baby journal designed specifically for premature and sick babies and in 2010 I launched tinylittlebaby

Owner of Prem2Pram

Its through tinylittlebaby that I met a wonderful lady who’s help and advise was invaluable through those early days, that lady was Sue the founder and previous owner of Prem2Pram.  I am honoured to take over Prem2Pram and will continue to run the business with the passion that we both share.

What if it was your premature baby!

What if it was yours?

It always strikes me as disturbing how fierce arguments over the right time to let unborn babies live and the need to let premature babies die coincide at around 23 or 24 weeks.

Where termination is concerned, a 24-week old baby is considered too far developed to have its life snuffed out. At the same stage a premature baby is, apparently, too expensive to be allowed to live.

The BBC2 documentary 23 Weeks: The Price Of Life examined the arguments for leaving babies born at 23 weeks to pass away without resuscitation or medical intervention.

Behind the arguments effectively to bin life at its early stages is, of course, money.

The price of life is seemingly too high for the liking of some highly-paid NHS officials – like Dr Daphne Austin, for instance.

Doctor Austin, an adviser to local health trusts, says keeping early babies alive is only prolonging their agony.

Funds would be better spent on care for cancer sufferers or the disabled.

This concerning film did much to promote and support Dr Austin’s arguments – a bit of a worry in itself – which were anchored in cash.

She said the NHS was spending around £10m a year resuscitating babies born early and keeping them alive in incubators and on ventilators.

But despite round-the-clock care from teams of experienced doctors and nurses, just nine per cent left hospital – the rest died. And only one in 100 would grow up without some form of disability – the most common including blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.

One in 100. Is that one baby worth the expense and effort required for a fight for life?

It most definitely is, if it’s your baby.

First published at 08:57, Saturday, 12 March 2011
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Anne Pickles

Don’t write off premature babies

THE NHS spends £10million a year resuscitating babies born at 23 weeks and keeping them on incubators and ventilators.  But despite 24/7 care, 91 PER CENT of them die. And only one in 100 survivors grows up without disability. The most common problems include blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.

Leading NHS official Dr Daphne Austin ignited the debate this week when she said in a BBC documentary that keeping the babies alive simply “prolonged” their agony and argued the money would be better spent on cancer sufferers or the disabled.

Guidelines state doctors should not try to resuscitate babies born before 22 weeks as they are too under developed, but those born between 22 and 25 weeks should be given intensive care.

Around 350 babies a year are born at 23 weeks and nearly all are resuscitated as families cling to the hope they will survive.

Here, two mums talk of their 23-week premature babies and why NOT to give up hope.

POLICE officer Lucy Kirwan says her daughter, Matilda, was one of the lucky ones. Lucy, 30, lives in Stourbridge, West Midlands, with her husband Craig, 31, also a police officer, two-year-old son Charlie and Matilda, seven months.

“CHARLIE was born normally. So when I fell pregnant with twin girls last year it didn’t occur to us there would be problems. But at 22 weeks I was told there was a problem with the fluid around the babies.

After a weekend of not feeling very well, I went to Birmingham Women’s Hospital where a scan showed only one heartbeat. The next day, my waters broke.

Craig and I had spent the weekend on the internet working out what would happen if our baby was born at 27 or 28 weeks. We never thought we would have to worry about what would happen if she was born at 23 weeks.

A few days later I went into labour. I was only 23 weeks and six days pregnant.

We’d gone from buying things for the twins and feeling we’d got past the “safe” point of the 20-week scan to losing one baby, Alice Rose, and preparing to give birth to her very premature twin, Matilda. I didn’t have much hope.

Matilda did cry briefly when she was born, then her organs couldn’t cope and the doctors spent half an hour resuscitating her before taking her away. There were about 15 doctors and nurses in the room and alarms were going off.

But I had to give birth to her twin, then I had emergency surgery because the placenta was still attached so I wasn’t very aware of what was happening to Matilda…. continue reading

By Emma Cox
Source: The Sun

Premature babies battle for survival at ‘edge of life’

The NHS spends more than £10m a year on babies born at 23 weeks

Babies born prematurely in the 23rd week of pregnancy exist on the very edge of life. A few go on to become “miracle babies”, but most die. The figures are stark, only nine out of 100 will survive, and of that number most are disabled. Is it always right to keep them alive?

“I can’t really get my head round how they’ve managed to keep her alive.”

Lucy’s daughter Matilda was born four months early at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, weighing one pound one ounce.

Within 20 seconds of her birth, her tiny body was placed into a plastic bag to prevent her losing too much heat or moisture.

She was carefully transferred into an incubator and hooked up to tubes and gadgets. Cutting-edge technology has been keeping her alive for four weeks.

Had Matilda been born one week earlier at 22 weeks – she would usually have been considered a miscarriage.

One week later at 24 weeks, her chances of survival would be much higher.

Thanks to decades of improving medical science 23 weeks is now considered the “edge of viability”. It is one week less than the limit for abortion at 24 weeks. .. continue reading

By Adam Wishart

Documentary Maker, 23 Week Babies: The Price of Life

Potential Health Issues in Premature Babies

Because a premature baby is early he/she is more prone to health problems.  These tiny premature babies often have underdeveloped lungs as well as other issues and as a result have higher rates of disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Because of the various health concerns a premature baby is given medical assistance immediately after delivery. Depending on how prematurely a baby arrives he/she is likely to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for assessment to determine his/her medical needs.

My premature baby daughter Sky

Below are some of the more common conditions that occur in premature babies:

Respiratory Distress Syndrome
a breathing disorder related to the baby’s immature lungs.  Because a premature baby’s lungs frequently lack surfactant, a liquid substance that allows the lungs to remain expanded.  Artificial surfactants are often used to treat these tiny babies in conjunction with a ventilator to improve baby’s breathing and to help maintain sufficient oxygen levels in the blood.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
is the medical term used to describe babies who require oxygen over a longer period of time.  The severity of this condition varies and as baby’s lungs mature they tend to outgrow the condition.

Apnoea
is the medical term given when the regular breathing rhythm is interrupted for more than fifteen seconds.  The condition is often is associated with a reduced heart rate, known medically as bradycardia. A pulse oximeter is used to measure oxygen saturation a drop in oxygen is known as de-saturation. The majority of babies outgrow the condition by the time they go home.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
previously known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is an eye disease that affects premature babies in which the retina is not fully developed. The majority of cases resolve without the need for treatment, although serious cases may require surgery. Both oxygen toxicity and relative hypoxia can contribute to the development of ROP.

Jaundice
is the result ofabuild in the baby’s blood of achemical called Bilirubin. As a result of this build up the baby’s skin takes on a yellow tinge. Treating the condition involves placing the undressed baby under special lights whilst covering baby’s eyes to protect them from damage.

(ArticlesBase SC #4110371)

About the Author: Sue Edmondson runs Prem2Pram the on line premature baby store http://www.prem2pram.co.uk as a mother herself of two premature babies she understands the difficulties parents face when their baby arrives early.

New drug approved to prevent premature birth

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug effective in preventing premature labor in women who have had at least one previous preterm delivery.

The new medication called Makena (hydroxyprogesterone caproate) is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone which is given in the form of weekly injections to women carrying a single fetus with no other risk factors.

A premature birth also known as preterm birth refers to a labor which occurs at least three weeks before a baby’s due date.

The rate of preterm birth has increased more than 35 percent in the last 25 years in the US and more than a half million babies — one in every 8 — are born prematurely each year. The cause for such preterm deliveries, however, remains elusive and unknown in many situations.
Preterm babies are at a greater risk of developing a wide variety of health and developmental complications such as lung problems, learning disabilities, and dying during infancy and even later on in childhood.

Read the full article

If you or a loved one has given birth to a premature baby then please visit Prem2Pram the on line premature baby store.

A medical engineers view on suitable premature baby clothes

As an adult patient we rarely consider the clothes that we wear whilst we are in hospital. Even when the hospital gives you a loose fitting gown to wear for an operation or whilst they are placing monitoring equipment on to you as the patient do we really give much thought to the reasons behind their requests.

For premature and poorly babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s (NICU) and Special Care Baby Unit’s (SCBU) we show extra concern for the well being of the child and yet as concerned adults we sometimes miss the opportunity to make sure that the clothing they wear is really the best suited to the environment in which the baby is being cared for.

The majority of premature baby clothes do not allow for the easy access required for staff and for the medical devices that constantly monitor a poorly babies condition. As a medical engineer these devices are then on occasion reported faulty and then must be repaired and fully tested by the Electro-Biomedical Engineering Department (EBME) or in some instances by external companies contracted to look after the devices. This can cause delays if there are no spare units available or that the staff are unable to locate spare monitor and sensor leads for the equipment.

How can the monitor and sensor leads become damaged?

The leads must be deformed through a tight radius and pushed or pulled in to position on clothes that are not specifically designed to allow easy access. Over time the constant flexing and re-flexing of the leads causes internal damage. The equipment may as a result start to give inaccurate readings, of which the staff are unaware. This causes possible concern when there is no real need, or of NOT raising an alarm when one is perhaps required. If the device leads break completely internally then a fault is more apparent, however, until the staff are able to fit new monitoring leads to the baby and test equipment there is no way of knowing if the error is the leads or with the device it self. This results in more disturbance of the poorly baby, more concern and worry for the parents and more concern and stress for the medical staff involved. To minimise the possibility of such issues arising it would be ‘best practice’ to have the premature or poorly baby wearing clothes that eliminate or greatly reduce such occurrences.

Well designed premature baby clothes like those offered by Prem2Pram are designed and manufactured after consulting with the NICU and SCBU staff of local hospitals as well as discussions with a range of medical engineers some of whom have nearly 30 years experience in the EBME field. The ideas and suggestions from all the staff involved across different aspects of the babies care have been considered and implemented to offer a range of premature baby clothes that are comfortable, stylish and as medical environment friendly as possible.

premature baby clothes

As a grandparent of a premature baby and as a medical engineer with family and friends with over half a century of EBME experience I can wholeheartedly suggest to all parents of premature and poorly babies to think carefully about the clothes that they use whilst in hospital and recommend the parents to consider the range of premature, NICU and SCBU clothes offered by suppliers such as Prem2Pram. A little extra care taken in advance can save so much stress and anxiety for everyone involved, from baby to hospital staff, from parents to grandparents and even family friends.

 

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