Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital Increases Capacity for Care With Six New Ventilators

8 March 2011

The six new paediatric ventilators at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital brings the ratio of Intensive Care Unit beds to available ventilators to one-to-one. This means that even if the ICU is full and every child needs a ventilator - every patient would have access to one.

Prof Andrew Argent, the head of the ICU at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital said: "The new ventilators have replaced older ventilators which have come to the end of their useful life. In addition the new ventilators have given us improved capacity to do 'lung protective' ventilation - or ventilation that is better adjusted to the individual needs of the child and is gentler to the lung.

"Finally the ventilators have increased our capacity to provide ventilation to sick children - this is important in the context of increasing demand for ICU treatment and ventilation at the hospital."

Five of the ventilators - which have been designed specifically for children - were bought by the hospital. The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (WSPCF) donated the sixth.

Each ventilator cost R341 992. In total the new ventilators cost R1 709 960.

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, says: "The ventilators will greatly improve our patients' experience. I am really grateful that we are now in a position to have at lease one ventilator for each bed in ICU. This is another example of the great potential for support from the private sector, and that they are ready for business with government, but we must facilitate the process."

Lynda Bleazard, the CEO of the WSPCF said: "We are delighted to be participating in this partnership with Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation is committed to promoting equity and building capacity."

Dr Lungi Linda, the chief executive officer of Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital said: "On behalf of Management of RCWMCH we feel honoured and privileged to have a healthy relationship and partnership with Walter Sisulu Cardiac Foundation. We are very grateful to the Foundation for the donation of the additional ventilator to our ICU. These ventilators are of latest technology will benefit the children who need ventilation during their admission in ICU. A well equipped ICU will definitely improve the morbidity and mortality rate in our ICU".

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