Bristol Children's Hospital £1m heart appeal
A £1 MILLION appeal has been launched to create a new operating theatre that will revolutionise care of young heart patients at Bristol Children's Hospital.
The state-of-the-art "hybrid" theatre will enable a combination of medical procedures – such as X-rays and open heart surgery – to be carried out in the same space.
It will be the first theatre of its kind in the South West and could enable doctors in the city to carry out complex procedures they do not currently have the facilities for.
The Children's Heart Appeal will lead to the latest radiology and catheter equipment being installed so that both keyhole and open surgical procedures can take place.
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It has been launched by the Grand Appeal, the dedicated charity for Bristol Children's Hospital, to improve the facilities available for young patients.
The paediatric cardiac unit at the hospital is a specialist centre for the treatment and care of children born with heart problems, looking after patients from across the South West and South Wales. It currently carries out about 350 heart operations a year and about 250 cardiac procedures in children.
The hospital was designated one of the specialist centres for heart surgery in July as part of a national programme to improve surgical outcomes and the number of procedures is expected to rise as a result.
Consultant cardiologist Robin Martin said that the new theatre would increase space available and improve flexibility for the treatment of cardiac patients.
He said the new theatre would be useful for keyhole procedures as well as those where a child's chest might need to be opened and also for young patients who needed cardiopulmonary bypass to take over the function of the heart and lungs.
"It means we can do more complex procedures, extending the range of treatment to small children," Dr Martin said.
"The cardiac hybrid theatre will mean that we will be able to perform surgery, often using a keyhole approach, allowing treatment to be quicker and less invasive than open heart surgery.
"We will be able to take angiograms or X-ray pictures while doing any catheter or surgical-based intervention and will extend what we currently do. We will probably end up doing more procedures and will be able to use it to assess the results of certain complex surgical repairs, which can be difficult without detailed X-ray imaging, which allows us to tackle some of the more complex procedures at a low risk."
Dr Martin said that the current catheter laboratory – where procedures were carried out using fine tubes inserted through the wrist or leg – was getting to the end of its life and would need to be replaced with the latest technology.
Nicola Masters, director of the Grand Appeal, said: "We are proud to be funding such a state of the art facility that will benefit so many young patients and keep Bristol Children's Hospital at the forefront of cardiac care in the UK. We hope that the Bristol community will continue to give generously to the charity and support the Children's Heart Appeal."
Dr Martin, who has previously been involved with fundraising for the Grand Appeal praised the support of the charity. To find out more about the appeal, visit www.grandappeal. org.uk or call 0117 927 3888.