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New equipment to help children with respiratory distress at St George’s

13th January 2020

St George’s Hospital Charity were thrilled to be able to purchase two AirvO2 Optiflow systems for the paediatric wards at St George’s Hospital. This piece of equipment was fully funded by money raised by a team, mostly made up of Paediatric consultants at St George’s Hospital, who cycled from London to Brighton in September 2019. It is amazing to see the effort this team put in and the fact that they have managed to purchase this needed piece of equipment so quickly after their fundraising efforts.

These important systems are designed to provide High Flow heated Humidified Oxygen for infants and children with increased respiratory distress on our paediatric wards. The machine delivers optimally heated and humidified blend of air and oxygen via a specifically designed nasal cannula interface and helps improve respiratory distress in children.

AirvO2 Optiflow systems can be used on children with asthma and pneumonia, but at St George’s are predominantly used on bronchiolitis patients.

Bronchiolitis is common in the winter season – and we see a lot of admissions to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit when the condition worsens. Bronchiolitis is a viral chest infection that causes mucus production in the airways and causes narrowing of the airways resulting in children with difficulty breathing. The AirvO2 Optiflow system provides breathing support so children can breathe with reduced energy expenditure.

Rajashree Ravindran, Consultant Paediatrician at St George’s Hospital says:

“Bronchiolitis is such a common viral illness in children at this time of year, especially in children under the age of two. With these machines we will be able to really improve the care of children with bronchiolitis and make a huge change in their treatment. The earlier you start treatment for increased work of breathing, the better, so we want to begin this treatment as soon as children need it in the Emergency Department. Then we can move patients to the ward quickly, continue to provide the treatment there, and ultimately get them better and home sooner. This will have an effect on reducing Paediatric intensive care admissions for bronchiolitis”

“Thanks to all the nursing team, Emergency department and PICU team for providing support with implementing this new treatment on our ward. Ultimately treatment like this should reduce the length of stay of these patients and provide efficient and effective treatment right from the start. We have two of these machines already, and another machine in Emergency department will help with patient transfer. Once we are able to show great demand for these services, we want to invest in more equipment as they can make a huge difference to patient care at St George’s.”

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