Sheffield gets new breathing lab

Addison Connor from Conisborough who was born with a diaphragmatic hernia with Respiratory Physiologist Laurie Smith in the new centre opened at Sheffield Childrens Hospital
Addison Connor from Conisborough who was born with a diaphragmatic hernia with Respiratory Physiologist Laurie Smith in the new centre opened at Sheffield Childrens Hospital
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THANKS for your generosity.

That’s the message from seven-year-old Addison Connor, just one of the children with respiratory problems to benefit from a £50,000 piece of equipment paid for by donations to Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

Addison Connor from Conisborough who was born with a diaphragmatic hernia with Respiratory Physiologist Laurie Smith in the new centre opened at Sheffield Childrens Hospital

Addison Connor from Conisborough who was born with a diaphragmatic hernia with Respiratory Physiologist Laurie Smith in the new centre opened at Sheffield Childrens Hospital

The Action Laboratory is designed to monitor a child’s respiratory response to exercise, using methods similar to those used by athletes when assessing their performance.

It includes the very latest testing equipment, which aids the diagnosis and treatment of children with a range of conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and life-threatening bronchiolitis.

Monitors show how much air is left in a child’s lungs after they have breathed out.

The information is then used to assess diseases and restrictions in airway passages.

The cubicle can also monitor a child’s breathing under varying pressures, allowing the hospital’s specialists to work out how much supplementary oxygen a patient might need in a pressurised cabin on an aeroplane, where there is less oxygen.

And that means Conisbrough lad Addison was able to go on holiday abroad for the first time. Addison was born with a hernia which caused his stomach organs to move up into his chest through an opening in the muscles which allows breathing.

He has needed several emergency procedures to treat the condition.

Mum Rachel Blyth, aged 41, said: “When Addison was eight months old, he stopped breathing. All of a sudden he just went floppy – it’s a mother’s worst nightmare.

“That was the first of Addison’s many stays in the intensive care unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital – he was a very poorly little boy. It was a very scary time.”

Today Addison, who uses an oxygen cylinder, lives life like any other child his age, thanks to the Action Laboratory.

Addison and his family were able to go on holiday to Tenerife after undergoing testing which showed how much oxygen Addison would need to fly safely.

“Being able to take Addison on holiday, and allowing him to take part in PE at school with his classmates, is something we never thought he’d be able to do,” said Rachel.

“Without the help of the doctors and the equipment at the Action Lab, Addison wouldn’t be able to do all of the things he can do today. It’s changed our lives.”

Paediatric respiratory physiologist Laurie Smith said: “The new software and exercise testing equipment funded by the charity will be an extremely valuable addition to our Lab.

The equipment was funded thanks to the hospital charity’s 2012 Run With Us campaign, and from donations from Hallowes Golf Club and Wortley Golf Club.

* Find out more about Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s 2013 campaign by visiting The Childrens Hospital Charity - and more about the Make it Better appeal at Make It Better