A lot of what we do depends heavily on equipment and technology, and while we have sufficient funding for basic needs, it often doesn't extend to being able to upgrade equipment in a timely manner. Here is a list of items that we are currently in need of. If there is anything that you are in a position to purchase, or to fundraise towards, we would love to hear from you.
This funding will allow us to undertake complex laboratory analysis of the biological samples provided by mothers and their babies to help us understand the physical, as well as the emotional, changes that occur during times of high stress and trauma. It is part of our world-first CHERISH study, looking at how a diagnosis of childhood heart disease affects development in children and their families.
A pulse oximeter is a special device that can measure a patient's oxygen saturation in a non-invasive and pain-free way. This allows us to see how much oxygen is travelling around the body. Some of our patients have heart conditions that require several stages of cardiac care and surgeries. These oximeters are vital for us to be able to monitor the child's oxygen levels while they're at home between surgeries. This is one of many measures that helps us to plan when the child might require their next surgery.
The vital signs monitor is an all-inclusive monitor that provides immediate information on the patient's blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation (how much oxygen there is travelling around the body) and the patient's temperature. The monitor is used during our cardiac clinics when we need to measure the patients' vital signs. It can also be used in an emergency situation should the need arise.
After bypass surgery, it is important that we attach a pacemaker to a patient's heart while it finds its natural rhythm again, in order to keep our patients safe. That way, if the heart beats irregularly for even a second, the pacemaker will take over and ensure that blood is pumping around the body at the right rate. We leave these on for two or three days after surgery and with increasing numbers of patients, we need to purchase several more.
An ECG machine measures the heart's rhythm and can pick up on heart murmurs and other, more serious, arrhythmias. We are replacing our old system with a brand new, digital ECG system which will allow quick and easy analysis from anywhere in the world.
Cardiac Ultrasound (Echo) Machines allow us to look inside the heart in a quick and pain-free way. We need several of these machines for our operating theatre, cardiac catheterisation (keyhole surgery) theatre, ward and outpatient clinics. In 2013 we raised enough money to purchase a new machine, which was amazing, but we already need another two - one to replace one of our older machines and another to allow us to run more outpatient clinics each day. If you can help us with this big purchase, please contact us.
To date there is still no known cause for the majority of congenital heart diseases. Our DNA Bank, established in 2003, allows us to work with research groups in Australia and around the world to analyse DNA from large numbers of patients. Our aim is to establish links between changes in genes and heart disease, to identify the causes of congenital heart disease, improve our understanding of this condition and to develop better treatments. It costs around $150,000 per year to keep our DNA Bank going and we rely solely on grants and donations to do so.
If you are interested in finding about more about this or other equipment that we need, or you would like to help us to diagnose and treat the thousands of kids we see each year even better, please phone the Heart Centre Manager on (02) 9845 2326 or write in via the contact page.
Wishlist last updated 1 July 2016