Hospital unit gets a boost

A SPECIALIST unit has invested in hi-tech equipment so that Hartlepool and East Durham couples get the best chance possible of becoming parents.

Ambitious bosses at the Assisted Reproduction Unit (ARU) inside the University Hospital of Hartlepool have spent £40,000 on the very latest in sophisticated machinery.

Lisa and Michael Hall with Ezekiel (left) and Timothy (right)

Lisa and Michael Hall with Ezekiel (left) and Timothy (right)

One is an incubator which stores embryos at low oxygen levels – meaning they can be kept for up to five days and increase the chances of success in Hartlepool couples to conceive.

It is a piece of equipment which has only existed for the last two years thanks to modern technology.

The other is an intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (icsi) machine which allows experts to inject sperm into an egg under the microscope.

Mr Hany Mostafa, the unit’s consultant gynaecologist and clinical lead for the unit, said: “Our success rate is above the national average but we want to make the unit as competitive as any other in the country.

“That is why we have got the new equipment. Two years ago, there was no low oxygen incubator, but this has come with new research.

“It is very good news for us and it allows us to continue at the best standards. It is good news for the patients as well.

“The icsi machine is very modern and up-to-date and allows us to be very precise and increase the success rate of that procedure. It also increases the success rates of pregnancy.”

The ARU unit was opened four years ago this month and immediately set targets of becoming the rival of anything the country had to offer.

The unit has two medical consultants and one associate specialist.

The medical team is supported by two embryologists with more than 30 years experience between them and a dedicated and highly qualified nursing team.

The unit also has a specialist fertility counsellor who was one of the first in the country to qualify in this area of expertise.

It comes after bosses staged day filled with festive cheer when the assisted reproduction unit celebrated its successes with a party.