Lifebox Pulse Oximeters
A pulse oximeter is a piece of medical equipment that allows us to measure the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood. Some babies, especially those born too early, need extra oxygen to survive but if you use too much, it can make them go blind. Each baby in our neonatal unit needs constant monitoring of their blood oxygen levels. A pulse oximeter costs £200.
Infection spreads very easily between babies in a neonatal unit unless strict infection control procedures are followed and infections are one of the biggest causes of deaths in newborn babies. It is crucial that each baby has his or her own cot and they need to be simple to keep clean. Each cot costs a little over £200.
Stethoscopes are used when examining the newborn babies each day. The risk of spreading infection between each tiny baby is huge in a hospital setting and so each cot needs its own stethoscope. The one in the picture is blue but you can choose your own colour to donate! One Littman infant stethoscope costs £60.
Babies that are sick or who are born premature (too soon) often need extra oxygen for a short time to help them survive. Cylinders of oxygen are expensive in low resource settings and so the best way to give oxygen is via a machine that removes the nitrogen from air. These oxygen concentrators create a cheap, sustainable and reliable source of oxygen. Born on the Edge has already donated one to the project in Mbale but two are needed. The cost of an oxygen concentrator is £750.
Electric Suction Machine
This piece of equipment is crucial when resuscitating a newborn baby. Although we have suction available it is often either hand operated or foot operated. One suction machine costs approximately £500.
Babies that are born premature (too soon) and babies that are unwell are at risk of stopping breathing. This can be a life threatening event unless it is immediately recognised and appropriate treatment given. An apnoea monitor is attached to the baby and will alarm if it stops breathing. Each of our smallest and sickest babies should have one attached. Each apnoea monitor costs £400.
A centrifuge is a piece of laboratory equipment that allows you to make an assessment of how anaemic a patient is. Using one in the neonatal unit will provide instant results and avoid the need for long delays waiting for lab results to be processed. A Centrifuge costs £900.
Teaching, Training and Other Items
Sponsor a Newborn Care Training Course
These courses run over 14 weeks covering different topics in basic newborn care each week. We have trained almost 200 people so far including in two district hospitals that refer into our main neonatal unit at Mbale. The enthusiasm to learn is humbling and we would like to provide further opportunities for more staff. There are three more district hospitals we would like to cover and we continue to run the course in Mbale Regional Referral Hospital each year.