The Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital

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Around 300 small babies and children are operated on each year by the children’s heart surgeons at the Freeman Hospital.
Heart problems, including Tetralogy of Fallot, are among the most common types of abnormality found in newborn babies. Many of them are tiny infants who, up until a few years ago, would not have survived. Out of 33,000 babies born in the Northern region each year, around 300 will require surgery and many more will require medical or outpatient treatment in the Children’s Heart Unit (Ward 23).

Not all children are born with heart disease. Viruses can severely weaken the heart and cause it to fail. The Freeman Hospital is one of only 2 hospitals in the UK that performs children’s heart transplants and that use mechanical hearts to keep these children alive until their heart either recovers or can be transplanted. Since 1987 over 250 children have received a transplant.

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Because of the special expertise at the Freeman Hospital, children are referred from Ireland, Scotland and many hospitals throughout England. On a rare occasion, they may even be referred from overseas.

For more information about the children’s charity CHUF, visit www.chuf.org.uk. CHUF are one of the hardest-working children’s charities and do a lot of vital charity fundraising.