Our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the largest and busiest single-centre PICU in the UK and caters for 35 specialties, including cardiac. Of all the unit’s heart patients, around 25% are deemed at high risk of having a cardiac arrest. 

The number of children who survive a cardiac arrest in hospital is only 54%, and those that do often experience additional health complications as a result, which can impact their life expectancy and quality. 

Our Help A Heart Appeal raised £50,000 to fund a new, quality research nurse on PICU, to help us lower the chance of our heart patients arresting. 

The specialist nurse is responsible for:  

  • Helping to identify our most at-risk patients 

  • Introducing and increasing measures to reduce the possibility of a cardiac arrest happening 

  • Ensuring nurses caring for patients at the bedside are prepared for high-risk patients 

  • Educating staff, so if a cardiac arrest does happen, they feel ready to respond in a safe and efficient way  

  • Collecting quality data to measure the role’s success.   

We are the first paediatric hospital in the UK to implement such a role. The same project conducted across 15 hospitals in America was found to reduce cardiac arrests by 33%. 

While we already had this specialist nurse in post for an initial 18 months, we fundraised to ensure the continuation of this important project.