Every year, we support the hospital by funding the purchase of replacement or additional medical equipment. This enables the clinical and research teams to take advantage of advances in medical science and technology to deliver better care to children, and to replace old equipment that is no longer fit for purpose.
Thanks to our supporters, we are able to provide the hospital with leading-edge equipment so that our exceptional doctors and nurses can improve diagnosis and treatments, and continue to provide children with world-class care.
Watch our video to find out more about some of the highly-specialised medical equipment we use, and the role of our play therapists in helping children and young people deal with any fears or worries about hospital, illness or treatment.
If the video is not showing, please watch it on YouTube.
Some of the other specialist equipment we've helped to purchase over the last year includes:
The orthopantomogram (a panoramic X-ray of the lower and upper jaw) and lateral cephalostat (head-positioning device) equipment was purchased and installed in 2012. It replaces a 15-year-old machine, which developed an unrepairable fault and meant that the hospital had to refer patients elsewhere for imaging, which was inconvenient for families and costly to the hospital.
The equipment benefits many patients, including those undergoing treatment for dental conditions, severe facial abnormalities, cleft palate, craniofacial conditions or rheumatology conditions. It provides detailed images of the face, neck, jawbone and teeth, which are vital for planning surgery and assessing a patient’s recovery after an operation. These images cannot be provided by standard X-ray equipment.
For the first time, the Radiology department has access to cone beam CT technology for these patients. This can take high quality 3D images, with less radiation than a standard CT scanner.
The Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of a few centres worldwide to perform diagnostic muscle ultrasound in an outpatients setting.
The new ultrasound machine is used to assess about 350 patients each year and helps clinicians make a faster and more accurate diagnosis of conditions such as muscular dystrophies, myopathies and motor neuron diseases.
Muscle ultrasound is a safer way of assessing infants and young children as it does not require sedation. It's a quick and painless way of identifying whether a muscle is healthy or diseased, and can provide information which can rule out the need for more invasive and expensive tests.
Food is crucial to a young patient’s growth and development, but some babies, children and young people are unable to digest or obtain vital nutrients from ordinary food or milk. A specialised formula needs to be produced to deliver nutrients, which is called parenteral nutrition.
Patients who need parenteral nutrition include premature babies, intensive care patients, and those receiving treatment for bowel or gastrointestinal conditions, or cancer. Because they are in a fragile state or receiving strong medications, these patients need a precise recipe, with the right balance of fluids and nutrients.
With the newer technology, staff can programme the recipe in and the machine will make the exact formula. It then weighs the mixture, to ensure that the quantity of each ingredient is precise. This automated process is safer for patients and is also quicker, producing more feeds.
Only a few hospitals in the UK are able to provide tailor-made parenteral nutrition formulae.