New 4D scanners are now being used at St Michael’s Hospital to operate on babies still in the womb.

The £150,000 needed for the scanners was raised thanks to the 2018 Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge participants, along with a kind donation from the James Tudor Foundation.

Now in use on the Fetal Medical Unit, the scanners will provide significant benefits to patients, including improved and quicker diagnosis of complex fetal problems.

They will also be used to operate on babies still in the womb, improving surgeon’s abilities to perform the intricate procedures.

Dr Tim Overton, who took part in the ride, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Above and Beyond’s amazing fundraising efforts have meant that we have been able to buy not one but two superb ultrasound machines.

“Their arrival could not have been more-timely - last week alone we had to perform two emergency fetal procedures which were made considerably easier because of the clear views of the fetus we were able to achieve. This week we have another three potentially life-saving procedures planned in addition to the 50 or so other appointments we have made for referrals from all over the South West.

“Words of thanks do not do justice to the debt of gratitude the whole fetal medicine team owe Above & Beyond and our team of cyclists that made the epic journey to Paris last May”

The scanners can also be used for parents to visualise how their baby will look once they are born. When the baby has a physical abnormality, a very high quality image can improve the patients’ perception of the pregnancy and facilitate vital prenatal bonding.

Sarah Pryer, head of philanthropy and partnerships at Above & Beyond, said: “These scanners are an invaluable piece for equipment for staff at St Michael’s Hospital and I’m truly grateful to every one of our supporters who made this possible.

“We are delighted that we’ve able to support the fantastic work of our clinical teams, and make a difference to the lives of so many more families every year.”


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