Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Saturday, 20 February 2010

Machine helps to save baby's life in Nottingham

New equipment has helped to save the life of a six-month-old baby - hours after it was installed in a children's department of a Nottingham hospital.

Abbie Sisson's parents were told at the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) she had a 4% chance of survival after developing meningococcal septicaemia.

However, medics used the new Ultrasonic Cardiac Output Monitor (USCOM) to help find the right treatment for her.

It works by measuring speed, force and volume of blood from the heart.

The £15,000 for the USCOM was donated by former Mayor of Rushcliffe, councillor Barrie Cooper.

Doctors said the machine took some of the guesswork out of what drugs to give a patient.

There are no words to describe how we felt
Abbie's mother Charlotte Pattison

Abbie's mother Charlotte Pattison, 23, from Nottingham, said: "When she got to the hospital, she was hooked up to a load of monitors and then she was taken to intensive care where she didn't see her for two-and-a-half hours.

"Then the consultant came in and said she only had a small chance of survival. There are no words to describe how we felt."

Dr Patrick Davies, consultant in paediatrics, who treated Abbie, said: "The USCOM... enables us to exactly define how hard the heart is working and which aspects of its work the heart is struggling with.

"Once we know this, we can give the patient drugs to help the heart to support the patient's blood pressure.

"We obviously don't know what would have happened without the machine but the more we know about these patients the better."

Abbie made a full recovery since becoming ill in January and is now back at home.

Ms Pattison said: "You would never know that she was so ill, she's giggling and really happy and absolutely perfect."

Meningococcal septicaemia is the blood-poisoning version of meningitis.


Abbie made a full recovery and is now back at home

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