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Top Honour for Paediatric Heart and Lung Support Service

A national service providing advanced heart and lung support to some of Scotland’s sickest babies and children has received the coveted ELSO Award for Excellence in Life Support.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children’s ECLS (Extracorporeal Life Support) service was found to have demonstrated “extraordinary achievement” against stringent standards by governing body the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).

ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) does the work of the heart and lungs, outside the body, somewhat like a heart and lung machine.

Children and babies on ECMO require highly specialised care and, without this service, most of these children would sadly die. Because of ECMO, the majority of them are able to recover and live happy, healthy lives.

The RHSC Paediatric ECLS service, which is one of only four such centres in the UK, has treated over 500 paediatric patients from across Scotland and further a field since its’ inception in 1992. It was commissioned as a Scottish national service in 2001 by NHS National Services Scotland.

The service met, or indeed exceeded, all of the requirements set by the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization to achieve this award.

The internationally recognised award signifies a commitment to exceptional patient care and demonstrates assurance of high quality standards, specialised equipment, defined patient protocols and advanced education for staff.

The dedicated ECLS team are rightly delighted with the award which recognises the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the delivery of this first class ECLS service to children from across the country.

Mr Carl Davis, Clinical Director of the ECLS service, said: “We are delighted to have received this ELSO Award of Excellence. It is in recognition of the work of a great many persons from a wide number of specialties who work as part of a complex team to deliver a service of the highest quality to the children of Scotland”

Mrs Evans, Director of National Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the service has gained this prestigious award. It is a testament to the team’s commitment to the service that children across Scotland and wider afield can be assured that they will receive the best possible treatment and care.”
 
Past patients whose lives have been saved by the service are also thrilled with the prestigious award.

Three-month-old baby Hawwa was recently on an ECMO machine. Mum Tahira Ishaq (25) from Crosshill said: “It was a stressful time, Hawwa was born with a diaphragmatic hernia and was ventilated and sedated straight after birth. She was born on the Wednesday and had to go onto the ECMO machine on the Thursday and was on it until Sunday. It was a terrible time for us all. She looked so tiny and fragile when she was on the machine but it has worked. Hawwa is still in hospital but we hope to have her home with us very soon In' shaa' Allah.”
 
Student nurse Tahira is also grateful to all the staff at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, she said: “Everyone has been great, Hawwa couldn’t have been in better hands, she has gotten the best possible care and I thank all the ECLS team for that.”