The team at Embrace has some sobering statistics about premature and low-birth weight babies. Across the world, 4 million die annually within the first 4 weeks of life. Their research shows that 450 babies die each hour — and those that do survive face severe health problems.
But while two-thirds of infant deaths occur in only ten countries – maternal and newborn health concerns are not just a problem in the developing world.
Last year, GE announced a donation of $8 million worth of medical equipment, including fetal monitors, incubators and magnetic resonance scanners, to Homerton University Hospital in Hackney, East London. It’s part of GE’s healthymagination initiative — and part of GE’s commitment to deliver a sustainable legacy to London as a 2012 Olympic and Paralympics sponsor. Last week, the new center was formally opened in a ceremony by British Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis OBE.
The new equipment is enhancing what is already considered to be a center of excellence for the care of premature and sick babies and is helping to further reduce infant mortality rates across the Borough of Hackney. It nearly doubles the size of the hospital’s maternity and newborn center.
Approximately one in nine newborn babies require some form of specialist hospital care in the UK, equating to around one every six minutes, according to CMA Medical Data. Last year’s stats show that infant mortality rates in the Hackney community have improved but remain above the National average at 6.5 per 1,000 live births — reflecting the high health need in the population. In Hackney, every day, one baby is born weighing less than 5.5 lbs.
Globally, 60 percent of babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit have low body temperature. And as Carrie Eglinton Manner, general manager of Maternal Infant Care for GE Healthcare, explained in our recent story about other GE neonatal technologies, “Studies show that every one-degree Celsius drop in baby’s body temperature increases the likelihood of death by 10 percent. It’s clearly crucial to do everything possible to prevent heat loss.”
Going for the gold: British Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis OBE at the opening of Homerton Hospital’s new state of the art Maternity and Newborn Center. GE Healthcare donated a range of equipment designed to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve the general standard and efficiency of care including: tools for workflow planning, maternal and neonatal MR scans, obstetric ultrasound, patient and fetal monitoring, anesthesia delivery, a recovery suite, neonatal monitors, material infant care IT solutions, incubators with an integrated MR capability, ventilators and infection control equipment.
The Homerton team describes the impact in the video below.
* Read the announcement
* Read coverage in the Hackney-Gazette
* Read “Low Cost Warmer to Fight Infant Mortality in Rural India”
* Read more healthymagination stories on GE Reports