Starship Hospital receives $9 million donation - its biggest ever

Starship Hospital's largest-ever donation is set to help save thousands of childrens' lives.

The Douglas Charitable Trust is giving $9 million to support world-class training for paediatric doctors and nurses.

The challenge of a baby fighting for air and clinging to life is one that's difficult to prepare for, yet it's a scenario paediatric experts face daily.

They train for it using computer-driven, simulation babies, which recreate realistic medical emergencies.

"Which means that kids across New Zealand, when they're at their sickest, come to Starship, and they get better-quality care and better-quality health outcomes," says Dr Mike Shepherd, Director of Medical and Community at Starship Child Health.

Jeff Douglas, Douglas Pharmaceuticals Managing Director, is convinced it will benefit young Kiwis.

"I guess one of the most traumatic things in a doctor's or nurse's life is being presented with a baby or a young child in severe distress. It's much nicer if you can practise your technique on a mannequin."

The technology enables clinicians and nurses to practise putting in breathing tubes and drips, giving fluid and medication, and putting in a chest drain.

Starship Foundation chief executive Aisha Daji Punga says the donation will fund specialist training for paediatric doctors and nurses around the country, and that will make them even better at saving lives.

"Training for when you're in that really critical situation - that's when it really counts," says Ms Daji Punga, "and this prepares all of our clinicians and nurses in the best possible way."

They're even using to help train families with sick children.

"We're also now working with patients and families and whanau to help teach them more about how to look after their own children as well, and simulation is a key part of that too," says Dr Shepherd.

A $9 million gift to Starship, and the gift of life for thousands more children.


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