Westmead secures CSIRO support for world-first device to save babies

Dr Mark Tracy (left) is leading the team behind the project, including Matt Boustred, Matthew Crott, Christina Maher and Krista Lowe.

A life-saving resuscitation prototype for babies could become reality now that Westmead Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has won a highly sought after place in a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) program.

The world-first device would precisely monitor the volume of artificial breath provided during a resuscitation, which may be needed in three to eight per cent of births worldwide.

It is being developed by a team led by Dr Mark Tracy from the hospital’s NICU, which cares for babies born prematurely as well as babies born with health problems requiring specialist care.

The project has received major funding from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and has now been accepted into a CSIRO program called ON Prime, which will allow Westmead NICU staff an opportunity to take their resuscitation device forward and navigate the changing research landscape.

CSIRO is an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research to unlock solutions for the community, economy and the planet.

NICU clinician Dr Mark Tracy was thrilled the department was selected.

“We look forward to working with CSIRO to develop a volume monitoring device to improve resuscitation amongst newborns,” Dr Tracy said.

“CSIRO informed us that this year’s round of applications for ON Prime was their most competitive round ever.

“We are very proud to have made it to this stage. To have a powerhouse like CSIRO helping us with our research capabilities is huge.”  

For more information about the ON Prime program, visit http://www.oninnovation.com.au/Programs/ON-Prime