Rockinghorse launch new Christmas Appeal

Rockinghorse are hoping to provide the best start for children with their Christmas Appeal which is supporting the maternity ward at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton, where over 3,500 babies are born every year.

The local children’s charity aims to make life better for sick children in Sussex and raises money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment. This Christmas, they are raising money to provide the RSCH with a Drager transcutaneous bilirubin machine which will measure bilirubin levels, indicating jaundice in newborn babies.

Jaundice is one of the main conditions that newborn babies are treated for, and if left untreated, can cause brain damage. It is vital that nursing staff are able to assess a baby as quickly as possible, as early diagnosis and treatment of the condition can make all the difference. Babies born at the RSCH are currently tested for jaundice via a blood sample. Whilst this method is accurate, it is also very invasive and uncomfortable for newborns who are subjected to a series of jabs, as bilirubin levels are measured over a period of time.

Newborn baby Jenson receiving treatment for jaundice on a special BiliBed.
Newborn baby Jenson receiving treatment for jaundice on a special BiliBed.

The bilirubin machine Rockinghorse is aiming to fund will provide doctors and nurses with a reliable and non-invasive way of measuring bilirubin levels by shining a light on the baby’s forehead, which will provide an instant result. If physiological jaundice is detected and requires medication, then phototherapy (a form of light therapy) can be administered on the ward using a special BiliBed.

Pip Andrews, Lead Post-natal Midwife at the RSCH, said: “We really want to make the post-natal experience better for mothers and babies we look after. The bilirubin monitor would not only make our care more efficient and safer, but also very reassuring for all the wonderful new families we welcome onto the ward every day. Please donate to Rockinghorse this Christmas and help make our maternity unit the very best it can be.”

Those wishing to make a donation to the Rockinghorse Christmas Appeal can do so by visiting the dedicated Just Giving page online; www.justgiving.com/RockinghorseChristmasAppeal2015.

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.