Rockinghorse children’s charity funds A&E Trauma Room

A children’s A&E department has welcomed the addition of a specialist Trauma Room thanks to funding from local children’s charity Rockinghorse.

The Children’s Emergency Department at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton opened the room earlier this week, allowing patients to receive non-surgical treatment. Previous to the opening, children who had sustained a traumatic injury were required to undergo a general anaesthetic and overnight hospitalisation. Thanks to the installation of a medical gas scavenger system, young patients can now be treated without anaesthetic.

Having the Trauma Room on site will enable A&E staff to use the new pain relief system to treat serious injuries such as to set broken bones, stitch very deep wounds and treat burns and dislocations. The experience is far less distressing to young patients and their families and also means that a child does not require an overnight stay. The new unit will also relieve the strain on theatres by drastically reducing the amount of procedures – making it one of the first of its kind in the UK.

Dr Michaela Lazner, Consultant Emergency Paediatrician at the Alex who helped implement the unit, says: “The new Trauma Room and its equipment will be an invaluable tool to help us treat injured children as painlessly as possible and improve their hospital experience. Using the equipment we hope to be able to avoid many children requiring a general anaesthetic for treatment of their injuries. This will mean their treatment can be completed in one visit to A&E, freeing up valuable operating time for other urgent cases.”

Over 25,000 children attend the Children’s Emergency Department each year, and this figure continues to rise. In November the A&E service had its busiest month of the year so far with 2,349 attendances. A recent report revealed that the department had met 99.9% of its waiting time targets within the Government’s current standard – an outstanding feat for the staff.

As the official fundraising arm of the Alex, Rockinghorse helped fund the dedicated children’s A&E which opened back in January 2012. Since then, the charity has funded a number of key projects for the department, including a 3D pain distraction unit, a sensory room for patients with additional needs and a play room.

Rockinghorse is a Brighton-based charity that has been supporting children for nearly 50 years and does not receive any government funding and relies on the generous support of individuals, community groups, companies and trusts.

To find out more about the charity, visit www.rockinghorse.org.uk.