How our pulse oximetry project is saving lives

By Tiny Tickers’ Project Support Officer, Carly Doswell

As I complete my first year at Tiny Tickers, it is a great time to reflect on the achievements of our pulse oximetry project so far.

Our Test for Tommy Campaign started in 2019 and aims to further improve early detection rates of heart defects, by placing pulse oximetry machines in maternity wards across the UK.

Since taking on the role of Project Support Officer, I have been able to focus my efforts on the project, after a short pause due to the pandemic. Tiny Tickers supporters have raised an incredible amount of money for the project so far, so my task has been to ensure the hospitals that need pulse oximetry machines, have the opportunity to receive them for their wards. The aim is that as many newborn babies as possible will have their oxygen levels checked before they leave hospital.

Pulse oximetry testing uses a light sensor to measure oxygen levels in the blood. Not every baby will be born displaying signs and symptoms of a heart defect and with this machine, many more life-threatening defects can be detected.

Pulse Oximetry Test

I am delighted to say that we have now placed our 100th order and supplied over 400 pulse oximetry machines, in over 100 hospitals, around the UK. We are very proud to have achieved this and are now receiving feedback confirming that this simple test has prevented a significant number of babies from leaving hospital with undetected heart defects.

You can see where we have placed our machines here.

At present, pulse oximetry testing is not a mandatory newborn test within NHS hospitals, and many maternity units do not have the means to introduce these life-saving machines. For these reasons, Tiny Tickers aims to provide pulse oximetry testing kits to as many maternity units as we can.

We have also created a pulse ox hub, where professionals can access further information and resources about pulse oximetry testing and how to apply for free machines from Tiny Tickers.

The Tiny Tickers team continue to work hard to get as much funding as we can, to allow us to place as many machines as possible. This money is raised by our wonderful supporters and from grants and foundations keen to support this life-saving project.

Thank you so much to all those who have so generously helped to fund the project so far, and to all the hospitals that have now received our pulse oximetry machines and made the commitment to carry out this life-saving test on the babies born in their care.

I’ll leave you with a quote from The Practice Development Midwife at The Royal Berkshire Hospital, which demonstrates the impact of this project:

“Having the machines means we are able to provide the gold standard of care for babies born at The Royal Berkshire Hospital. It means changes in the oxygen saturation of all babies is detected and acted upon in a timely manner, thereby improving the overall health outcomes. Thank you Tiny Tickers – your generosity continues to save lives.

Support our Test For Tommy Pulse Oximetry Campaign here.