Grafton Midday Rotary Club president Richard Nichols gets a first-hand demonstration from Grafton Base Hospital Mater- nity Unit manager Angie Garland of a new Bubble CPAP machine the club helped fund.
Grafton Midday Rotary Club president Richard Nichols gets a first-hand demonstration from Grafton Base Hospital Mater- nity Unit manager Angie Garland of a new Bubble CPAP machine the club helped fund. Brendan Ray

Respiratory problems eased

IT might have taken close to two years searching the planet to source all the necessary adaptors, but the Grafton Base Hospital now has a functioning Bubble CPAP machine for newborn babies experiencing breathing difficulties.

The machine was provided through the Grafton Midday Rotary Club from funds raised through its annual auction and through the bio-medical department of the North Coast Area Health Service.

Grafton Base Hospital Maternity Unit manager Angie Garland said the new “continuous positive air pressure machinery” had already been used to help babies delivered at the hospital.

The equipment provides a way of delivering respiratory support to premature babies.

According to its promoters it can limit the development of certain infant respiratory conditions and helps to support infants without the complications associated with others.

It works by delivering a constant pressure to the infant’s airway (via nasal prongs) which decreases the work of breathing, improves ventilation/perfusion matching and helps to “splint” open the airway.

The equipment came from the United States, but when it arrived technicians found the connections did not match those in Australia, so Ms Garland, after plenty or research, had to source a flange from England and other components from New Zealand.

“It has saved a few babies from being transferred to other hospitals,” Ms Garland said.

“Some infants will improve after four hours, for others it might take 24.”

Grafton Midday Rotary Club president Richard Nichols said the club understood that with the equipment now on hand, new babies who needed the machines – and their mothers – could stay in Grafton rather than having to be transferred out of the Clarence Valley for treatment.



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