A baby is born with a serious heart condition every two hours in the UK and despite congenital heart disease being one of the biggest killers of infants in the UK, less than half of these conditions are picked up during pregnancy. It is absolutely vital that we provide a safety net for the 1,000 babies that leave hospital each year with their heart condition undetected. That’s why Tiny Tickers exists, to give these babies a better start in life.
Sonographer training - Tiny Tickers is the sole provider of hands-on, hospital-based cardiac screening training for sonographers throughout the UK. The specialist fetal cardiac training enhances the confidence and skills sonographers need to detect heart defects during pregnancy scans. Training sonographers how to better detect heart conditions at 20-week pregnancy scans is Tiny Tickers’ core activity.
The funding of vital life-saving equipment - Not every CHD condition will or can be diagnosed. By placing pulse oximetry machines in maternity wards we can provide another method of detection helping ensure any heart defects are picked up early, and that the baby and family, have access to the life-saving treatment they need before that baby experiences heart failure.
Improving standards - Ensuring the voice of parents and the needs of babies are heard by those setting standards in CHD services.
Raising awareness - Our awareness campaign ‘Think 20’ informs and empowers parents-to-be about their 20 week scan; while ‘Think HEART’ raises awareness of the five potential signs of undiagnosed CHD; knowing these five signs could save their baby’s life. As a result, mums-to-be are more informed about their pregnancy scans; health professionals and new parents know the signs of undetected heart conditions; and the general public is more aware of just how common and serious heart defects can be.
Family information - It is truly devastating for new parents to find out that their baby has heart problems, and the volume of medical information can feel overwhelming. We recognise the need to complement medical material with more practical information and peer-to-peer advice. Your support will help develop and improve our materials giving parents the information they need to navigate this challenging time.