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Charity funds brainwave monitors to help during surgery on babies and elderly patients

Thanks to our supporters, we’ve been able to fund six advanced brainwave monitors to help ensure babies and elderly patients receive the optimal dose of anaesthetic during surgery.

The Narcotrend brain function monitors can also help these patients wake up quicker after their operations, reducing the risks of confusion or delirium when recovering from anaesthetic.

The monitors use an algorithm designed to interpret brain activity and provide real-time information of a patient’s brainwaves – indicating when the patient has the ideal brainwave pattern for surgery. This enables medical staff to see precisely how much anaesthetic an individual patient needs.

Dr Mark Barley, Consultant Anaesthetist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “NUH are national leaders in the clinical use of this technology, known as ‘Depth of Anaesthesia monitoring.’

“We anticipate the monitors will be used during more than 2,000 operations a year – allowing brain monitoring during major surgical cases at the extremes of age, keeping our hospitals at the forefront of brain monitoring during general anaesthesia.”

The monitors will also enable anaesthetists to see the effects of different anaesthetic drugs on a patient’s brainwaves and give an indication of a patient’s brain age. The characteristics of brainwaves change as the brain develops and ages, and this alters a patient’s response to anaesthetic.

Underlying health conditions can also speed up the ageing of our brains and this requires precision-dosing of these important drugs.

They can also be used on children who are developmentally delayed and some preterm babies who have immature brains – these are only devices which can be used on these young and vulnerable patients.

Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We are so pleased to be funding this state-of-the-art monitoring equipment for Nottingham’s hospitals. Our colleagues at the Trust are leaders in this field, so it is appropriate that they have the best available equipment to meet their skills and level of expertise.

“This will make such a difference to patient experience during what can be quite a stressful and worrying time. As the lead charity for NUH Trust – enhancing patient care is at the core of what we do.”