Since opening its doors in 1862, Birmingham Children’s Hospital can boast many achievements and a number of firsts including:
- 1928 Leonard Parsons is first to treat children with rickets, by administering irradiated cholesterol. He later became the first Professor of Paediatrics in the UK.
- 1933 Parsons, Howarth, Hickmans and Cant are the first to use synthesised vitamin C to treat children with scurvy.
- 1954 Dr Roy Astley performs the world’s first cine-angiogram of a child’s heart.
- 1953 Bickel, Gerrard and Hickmans develop the first dietary treatment for the metabolic disease, Phenylketonuria (PKU).
- 1958 Abrams, d’Abreu and their team, are the first to complete paediatric open heart surgery, using a cardiopulmonary bypass.
- 1960 Anderson, Gerrard and Smellie identify gluten as the harmful factor in coeliac disease and successfully treat the disease by removing it from the diet.
- 1978 Following a successful pilot study, Raine, Griffiths and Mann started, for the whole of Birmingham, the first screening programme in the UK to test newborn babies for sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia
- 1989 Kelly and Buckels pioneer ‘cut-down’ liver transplants for infants in the UK.
- 1993 A joint BCH and Queen Elizabeth Hospital team performs Britain’s first combined liver and bowel transplant in a young child.
- 1999 Joseph De Giovanni fits a pacemaker into a three-day-old baby—Britain’s youngest patient to have one fitted.
- 2001 The successful separation of conjoined twins, joined at the base of the back, was performed by Tony Hockley—the first operation of its kind in the UK.
- 2001 The Eye Department is designated as one of two national centres for the treatment of cancer of the eye (Retinoblastoma).
- 2003 The Dermatology service opens to provide a national service (in partnership with Great Ormond Street) for patients with Epidermylosis Bullosa (EB).
- 2003 A building to house the specialist unit for children with sickle cell anaemia and Thalassaemia is opened.
- 2003 The first Acute Admissions Unit outside London, for children and adolescents with mental health conditions opens.