An early Christmas present for Nottingham's Neonatal babies

13 Dec 2011 16:25:15.713

PA 386/11

The QMC’s Neonatal Unit has welcomed an unusual but very welcome delivery: a brand new, state-of-the-art MR incubator.

The University of Nottingham’s highly specialised incubator — worth more than £200,000 — will be used to transport babies from the Neonatal Unit to the MRI scanner at the hospital.

The Neonatal Incubator has an integral 3T infant Head Coil for MR imaging, which is the first in the world, and is designed using MRI compatible parts, meaning the whole unit can be wheeled into the MR scanner without having to move the baby from one transporter to another.  Premature babies can now undergo detailed MR imaging supported by all the treatments essential to their wellbeing.  The benefits of this equipment to the baby, parents and medical staff are immense.

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Doctors now know that diagnosing potential problems in neonatal babies is crucial, not only for their immediate health, but also for longer term development.

Dr Stephen Wardle,  Consultant Neonatologist at the QMC, part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “During the process we want the baby to be settled and quiet so that we can get a detailed scan, without the baby moving and without interference and, obviously, we want the baby to be as comfortable as possible as well.  The incubator allows for this and for the baby’s breathing to be supported if needed, whilst maintaining the right level of humidity, essential for babies born prematurely.”  

Previously, on reaching the MRI scanner, the baby would have to be moved out of the old transporter for the scan itself.  The new incubator allows for a single smooth transition as the baby remains in the specialised incubator.

The incubator was made possible by donations from a wide range of supporters, including the James Tudor Foundation. 

Dr Helen Budge, Clinical Associate Professor and Reader in Neonatology at The University of Nottingham, said, “Our partnership with The James Tudor Foundation in our work on the brain development of extremely premature infants is integral to improving care for these vulnerable patients and informing clinical practice.  We are most grateful to our donors for all their support which has made the purchase of this equipment possible.”

The University is currently running a five-year-long fundraising campaign, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, to raise funds for a series of high-impact projects which aim to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.  To find out more about the campaign and how you can support us visit

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More information is available from Dr Helen Budge, Clinical Associate Professor and Reader in Neonatology +44 115 82 30611, 

Andrew Burden

Andrew Burden - Digital Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8313 Location: University Park

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