The Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital, located in District 7, is one of Budapest’s oldest and largest hospitals in Budapest with nearly 1,600 beds, where patients can be treated for an array of ailments and conditions.
The RBIF has been working closely with the hospital for a number of years, focusing on improving and providing equipment on the neonatal wing, which treats and cares for newborn children, primarily premature babies.
The neonatal wing is run by Dr Gábor Baross who, with the support of his team, can deal with anything between 500 – 600 premature babies every year. Given the wing can only accommodate 20/30 babies at any one time, if one was to say the wing is running at capacity, it would be somewhat of an understatement. Dr Baross also explained that to compound this problem, it is getting harder and harder to recruit and retain skilled and qualified nurses.
What defines a premature baby in need of help from Dr Baross and his colleagues? A premature baby is anything weighing between 500 grams to 1 kilogram. A baby born under 500 grams has a 20/30% survival rate, and then only a 30% chance of being healthy. Depending on the diagnosis, the baby will then spend anything between 4 weeks to 4 months within the confines of an incubator. Dr Baross welcomes visits from the parents, but this needs to be managed carefully as there can be up to 5 incubators in 1 room, meaning circulation space can be at a premium.
In 2019 we donated a professional, electronic breast pump device and accessories for the hospital, providing further convenience for the mothers on the ward.
We asked Dr Baross why this was important:
Breast milk is the perfect source of nutrition for newborns and premature babies. It is particularly important for the very small and vulnerable babies to receive breast milk, and this gives them protection against infections and helps their development. These babies are often not able to suck the quantity of milk that they need, and they can sometimes be hampered by other factors, such as if they are ventilated. Using this equipment we can ensure that they receive the best nutrition, their mother’s breast milk.
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The Robert Burns International Foundation (RBIF) is supported by the British Ambassador to Hungary and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK. The Honorary President of the foundation is Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United football club. In the last 20 years the organisation has raised several hundred thousand euros to help sick and underprivileged children.