Lifesaving ventilator

Pictured left to right ' Staff nurse Emma Mitchell, clinical coordinator for critical care Tom Bingham and staff nurse Sarah Hoggarth
Pictured left to right ' Staff nurse Emma Mitchell, clinical coordinator for critical care Tom Bingham and staff nurse Sarah Hoggarth

A LIFESAVING ventilator paid for by Hartlepool Mail readers has now been used by almost 150 patients.

But it is just the start for the £15,000 BiPap machine as the numbers are likely to rise from now on.

It’s five years since we bought a new machine for the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

In its first year, 31 patients were successfully treated. The numbers have followed a similar pattern each year meaning around 100 had been treated in the first three years of its use.

But the figures this year have been higher. Twenty one patients used the machine between April and October this year.

It has since been transferred to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton. Although specific numbers are hard to estimate - as North Tees has more than one of the machines - 30 patients received non-invasive ventilation in October and November alone.

Clinical co-ordinator for critical care, Tom Bingham, said: “The non-invasive ventilator is used regularly and still providing much needed care for patients across the trust.

“Previously, we would have had to put patients onto invasive ventilation. This machine can help because it can prevent us from having to do this. It is making a real difference to patients who have benefited from this generosity.”

Funds were raised by Mail readers through our Lifeline Appeal, launched in September 2008 with the backing of the Hargreaves family, including the-then Hartlepool deputy mayor Pam Hargreaves, after Pam’s mum, Dorothy, 61, died of a brain haemorrhage.

We reached our £15,000 target within three months thanks to readers who ran, sang, cycled, and performed stage shows.

Today, Pam told the Mail: “When we set off to raise some money to thank the nurses at Hartlepool for their kindness when my mum sadly passed away, we had no idea that we’d be able to raise enough money to buy such a vital piece of equipment that would literally save lives.

“It was thanks to the enormous generosity of Hartlepool people and the support of the Hartlepool Mail and their willingness to make our small idea into one of their major campaigns that means that the loved ones of more families will get the help they need.”