Who we are
One in every 111 babies is born with a heart problem – that’s more than 5,000 newborns each year in the UK.
Finding these babies is vital. Last year, over 1,000 newborns were discharged from UK hospitals with no one realising they had a life-threatening heart condition.
Babies with undetected heart defects will often fall into the early stages of heart failure – significantly impacting their long-term quality of life and associated risks of heart failure, including brain damage.
When these defects are detected during pregnancy, babies get treatment from the first possible moment. Prenatal detection also means that parents-to-be get the support they need to prepare them for the future; it means fewer dangerous and costly emergency admissions to hospital, and fewer cancelled operations because of these admissions.
What we do
- Improving prenatal detection rates by providing training and information to sonographers so they are better able to detect heart defects during pregnancy scans.
- Campaigning for and providing Pulse Oximetry machines in maternity wards to Improve postnatal detection rates
- Providing a safety net for those babies whose CHD is not detected and they are sent home by increasing public awareness and understanding of CHD. Our information campaign, Think HEART, gives a simple 5-point premise of the signs to look out for that may indicate heart failure in a baby.
- Helping drive improved standards within the NHS through our lobbying and influencing work – including better training provision and support for sonographers.
- Supporting the families of babies with CHD. CHD is the most common birth defect in the UK but people know less about it than Down’s Syndrome, cleft lip and spina bifida. Without this prior knowledge, families dealing with a diagnosis can feel even more alone.
Heart conditions are the most common and deadly birth defect in babies – responsible for 1 in every 13 infant deaths. Tiny Tickers is a small charity but our work is hugely practical and effective - just £1,500 is enough to provide training for 20 sonographers. With your support, we could improve the lives of many babies, just months later.