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KidsOR donation to the NHS
by Francesca Aras, Kids Operating Room

Blog

Francesca Aras is Kids Operating Room’s Biomedical Engineer. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic we made a donation of ten anaesthetic machines (which can be used as ventilators), 26 monitors and 18 pulse oximeters to NHS Scotland for use at Ninewells hospital in Dundee.

Francesca was part of the team that delivered the equipment and got it ready for use on the new Covid ward at the hospital.

"The donation of the equipment happened incredibly quickly. I found out that it would be happening the night before, and at 8 o’clock the next morning I was at the hospital in Dundee getting ready for the delivery from our warehouse."

"The rest of the Dundee Kids OR team packaged and prepared 14 pallets of equipment in record time. Although we regularly move large volumes of equipment thousands of miles across the globe, the logistical challenge of moving this donation a few miles down the road, with the restrictions on social distancing, was a different kind of challenge.

Several truckloads of equipment had to be delivered, moved into the hospital, unpacked and made ready for use as quickly as possible, to help prepare the hospital for the potential swell in cases caused by the Coronavirus.

Thankfully, we were no strangers to the hospital and the amazing staff at NHS Tayside. In fact, my first weeks working for Kids Operating Room were actually spent in the Medical Physics Department in Ninewells, gaining invaluable training and advice from their own engineers and technicians.

During my time there, I shadowed members of their different specialist engineering teams whilst they worked behind the scenes to keep the equipment in good working order, providing any technical support that may be needed by clinical staff. I will always be grateful to everyone who took the time to share their knowledge, and for their patience while I asked a thousand and one questions!

Although returning under these circumstances was bittersweet, it was great to be able to give something back and provide some support to the team who have previously been so generous and supportive of us.

Unlike during my previous visits, when the hospital has been bustling with patients, staff and students, the hospital was eerily quiet, with most non-essential services suspended.

We managed to unpack, build and prepare all of the equipment in only two days. Working in a hospital in Scotland is very different to our usual settings, and it is incredible to see the level of resources available to care for patients here.

During lockdown, we are continuing to support our partner hospitals across the world so that they can give children the surgery they need, but because of the virus we have had to do this over a video call rather than in person.

I really cannot wait to get back on the ground, seeing the impact that we have first hand, and meeting the incredible surgeons, doctors and nurses who are leading the way to provide safe surgery for children, everywhere."

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