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PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

 

“Think heart…save a baby’s life”

Conference to raise awareness of common heart conditions in very young babies

 

Every One in 145 babies is born with congenital heart disease. For a third of these babies, the condition is life-threatening and early detection is vital. Most babies with heart problems are not diagnosed before birth, so it is crucial to recognise the signs of a baby with heart problems as soon as possible after birth, when certain undetected heart conditions can be fatal.

 

To raise awareness of common life-threatening heart conditions in very young babies and as part of National Pathology Week, the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, in conjunction with the Royal College of Pathologists, is holding a one day conference on Monday, 2 November 2009.

 

The conference is open to health professionals, the public and the media and will look at heart conditions including: duct-dependent cardiac lesions (obstruction to one half of the circulation evident when the arterial duct closes in early life); neonatal arrhythmias (fast heart rhythms) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). These conditions are treatable if caught on time. Symptoms, however, are not easily diagnosed in very young babies. 

 

National Pathology Week 2-8 November 2009: Pathology: the heart of modern healthcare is organised by the Royal College of Pathologists and is sponsored by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. The week focuses on the central role that pathology plays in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of all types of heart disease. During the week pathologists and scientists from 18 different pathology specialties will be holding over 350 events throughout the country to increase people’s understanding and interest in the science behind the diagnosis of disease.

 

Dr. Joan La Rovere, consultant paediatric intensive care specialist at Royal Brompton Hospital, said: “We are delighted to work with the Royal College of Pathologists on this very important issue. The conference is designed to give health professionals not specifically trained in cardiology the skills, knowledge and confidence to spot potential heart problems in neonates. For parents, we hope the conference will empower them to spot any potential health problems at home.

 

“Royal Brompton Hospital specialises in the care of children with heart and lung conditions and treats them before birth, while still in the womb, through to adulthood. Our highly skilled staff are specially trained to diagnose and treat very young babies with heart problems. However, we realise that this is not the case for all healthcare professionals who do not see these symptoms everyday. 

 

“We hope that this event will be a very important first step towards making sure that these common life-threatening heart conditions are not missed and that very young babies get the care and treatment they need to help save their lives.”


Dr Suzy Lishman, Assistant Registrar at the Royal College of Pathologists and National Pathology Week lead said:The National Pathology Week team is delighted to be working with the Royal Brompton Hospital to raise awareness of congenital heart disease as pathologists play a vital role in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of all types of heart disease, including that in very young children. The health of babies and children is so important that we have chosen it as the theme of next year’s National Pathology Week (November, 1-7 2010).”

 

Ends/

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Shima Islam, Head of media relations

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 020 7351 8672 (Brompton)

Tel: 01895 828 877 (Harefield)

Mobile: 07866 536 345

Email: S.Islam@rbht.nhs.uk

 

Notes to editors:

 

Course details

 

Date:                Monday, 2 November 2009

Time:               10am to 4pm

Location:         The Royal College of Pathologists (directions: www.rcpath.org)

                           2 Carlton House Terrace

                           London SW1Y 5AF

 

To reserve a place, please contact Esther Jones email: e.jones@rbht.nhs.uk or call 020 7351 8546

 

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

 

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust is the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK and among the largest in Europe. The Trust sees children with heart and lung conditions from across the country and diagnoses and treats them from before birth, while still in the womb, through to adulthood. Our on-site foetal cardiology service enables clinicians to begin caring for babies while still in the womb; many are scanned at just 12 weeks, when the heart measures just over a millimetre.

 

Royal College of Pathologists

 

National Pathology Week is part of the Royal College of Pathologists’ strategy to increase public engagement and is sponsored by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics - www.siemens.co.uk\healthcare In 2008, over 300 events were held throughout the country. www.nationalpathologyweek.org

 

The Royal College of Pathologists is a professional membership organisation committed to setting and maintaining professional standards and to promoting excellence in the practice of pathology.

 

It is a registered charity and is not a Trades Union. The College has 8785 members who work in hospital laboratories, universities and industry worldwide.