A first ever for neonatology at The Royal Oldham

14 November 2022

Neonatology and radiology colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital are celebrating after successfully undertaking the first ever MRI brain scan on an intubated and ventilated premature newborn baby.  

The hospital, which is the hub for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust neonatal services, has been providing MR scanning for non-ventilated newborn babies for more than 6 years, but previously a ventilated baby would have had to travel to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester for this procedure.  

Dr Fazal Ur Rehman consultant neonatologist said: “As new-born ventilated babies are extremely fragile and vulnerable, neonatal and radiology teams worked diligently to arrange and test the equipment required to perform this historic first at Oldham. We can now plan for specialist care and early intervention that our newborn babies may require.  

“In the era of precision medicine, detailed analysis of the initial central nervous system (CNS) structure and the overlapping pathology from both the prenatal and perinatal period is key to planning further diagnostics and therapy.”   

The hospital has a reputation for its ability to scan non-ventilated newborn babies, a procedure only done by a few hospitals in the region. This is a huge milestone in the care provided at Oldham. Moving forward, this now means that high risk new-born babies can be imaged locally without being transferred to another hospital, speeding up diagnosis and potentially prognosis.  

This first was performed as the result of the incredible hard work of many colleagues at the hospital and saw neonatology work closely with colleagues in radiology to make it happen.  

 Dr Kandise Jackson, consultant radiologist and neonatal radiology lead added: “MRI allows us to provide a more detailed assessment of the babies brain and evaluation of neurological problems. By using a collaborative approach, the radiology, neonatal and physics teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that ventilated neonates now have access to this important imaging investigation at Oldham.  

“This has been a great achievement given the considerable pressures these very busy departments are already under but delivering high level patient care to our smallest and often most vulnerable patients always remains our top priority.”  


Neonatology and radiology colleagues at The Royal Oldham Hospital

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