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Advancing Perfusion

On 23 April, Alisa and Oliver Camplin-Warner presented a gift to the doctors that supported theirson Finnan.The 2013 Finnan's Gift Grant of $20,000 was presented to the RCH Perfusion team, who operate sophisticated life-support machines that take on the work of the heart and lungs whilst surgeons operate on our most fragile children.

"Finnan spent most of his short life under the care of the Perfusion Department. Everyone needs to know how important these amazing scientists are to cardiac patients and their families.

"The RCH Perfusion Department are leading edge, so we know that Finnan received the greatest possible medical care in the world. We just want to help them get better and better," Alisa said. The funds have been raised through exceptional community generosity following the establishment of Finnan's Gift in 2011.

Sue Hunt, Executive Director of the RCH Foundation, said: "Alisa and Oliver's vision for Finnan's Gift is clear; to make a difference to the lives of other children and families who are faced with Congenital Heart Disease. To try and save other children like Finnan.

"The RCH is fortunate both to have a stellar workforce of doctors and nurses, and to be able to support them through gifts such as the Finnan's Gift Grant.

"I thank Alisa and Oliver for sharing of themselves, and for sharing the RCH Foundation's dream of a healthier future for our children."

Finnan Maximus Camplin-Warner was diagnosed in-utero with congenital heart disease and passed away at just 10 days old. The fundraising project was set up by Alisa and Oliver to honour their son and to raise awareness for CHD, which is the leading cause of death in young children in Australia.

The 2013 Finnan's Gift Grant, in conjunction with further funding from the RCH Foundation, will enable the RCH Perfusion Department to develop a monitor that uses light to determine blood supply and oxygen to the brain, as well as other organs.Previously, this type of monitor was only available overseas.

But now, thanks to Finnan's Gift, Australian engineers and scientists can design and build this piece of equipment to ensure it suits the clinical environment of the RCH and, most importantly, our most vulnerable patients.

"I'd never thought about who manages a baby's blood during and after heart surgery before. Perfusionists usually work behind the scenes, but they absolutely critical and need to be celebrated and helped," Oliver added.

RCH Director of Perfusion, Associate Professor Stephen Horton, says the grant will make a significant contribution to sick children cared for by the RCH.

"Thanks to the generosity of Finnan's Gift and the generosity of the community, we will have a very useful device that is wireless, portable, accurate, economic and easy to use throughout different areas of the hospital.

"This will improve outcomes for sick children following different types of surgical procedures," Associate Professor Horton said.

The 2013 donation from Finnan's Gift will give back in many ways. It will benefit the hospital, patients and staff, but it will also benefit Australian industry and innovation.

At the successful completion of this project we will have a device that is wireless, portable, accurate, economic and easy to use throughout different areas of the hospital so as to improve patient outcome following different types of procedures.

Associate Professor Horton said: "This exciting project will be undertaken by the RCH Perfusion department in association with the National Information and Telecommunication Australia and Melbourne University."

The project to develop a new piece of state of the art equipment will provide the chance for Australian engineers and scientists to design and build a device with enhanced technology suitable for the RCH's specific clinical environment. Previously this technology was only available from overseas.

"The expertise gained in developing this device will lead to future projects benefitting patients and their families, and also our Universities and the biomedical manufacturing industry in Australia," he said.

Associate Professor Horton was so proud he has shared the cheque with this colleagues.

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