Kelly Tolhurst visits pioneering research at Medway's maternity unit

Date: 02 December 2015

Kelly Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, visited Medway Maritime Hospital on 30th November to see some of the life-saving research projects the Trust is undertaking in its maternity and neonatal unit.
Currently the Trust is undertaking 170 research projects ranging from testing new drugs to trialling new medical procedures. In 2014/15, almost 6,000 patients participated in the Trust’s research.
During her visit, Kelly Tolhurst saw three pioneering research projects designed to help safeguard the health of mothers and babies. These included:
  • Administering aspirin at the early stages of pregnancy to prevent high blood pressure developing - which can harm both mother and baby
  • Research study to screen babies for Down’s syndrome safely and without fear of miscarriage through a blood test instead of a more invasive needle test
  • Baby-cooling’ research for babies born with a lack of blood and oxygen; This entails lowering the baby’s body temperature to reduce the likelihood of brain damage
Kelly Tolhurst MP said, ‘It’s fantastic that important research projects such as the incredible ones I’ve seen on the maternity and neonatal unit today are happening here at Medway. Meeting with the doctors and witnessing the important life-saving research they are doing has been wonderful.’
Kelly also met mother Joanna Martin, who agreed to be a part of the baby-cooling research study when her daughter was having life threatening seizures at birth due to an unexpected lack of oxygen and blood supply to the brain.
Joanna said, ‘It was terrifying seeing my baby going through seizures. The doctors asked for my consent to have the baby-cooling research take place, I agreed immediately. The speed in which they had her in the baby cooling suite was incredible. She is now a very happy and healthy two-year old and that’s down to the research done here by Dr Soe and his team.’
Matron, Louise Proffitt, said, ‘The research we’ve presented today has the potential to change practice and safeguard mums and babies across the country.’
  • Summary: