The new Paediatric Sleep and Ventilation Unit was opened at Royal Brompton Hospital by Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands.

The unit, which was funded by the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, will help around 1,000 children each year who experience difficulties breathing at night.

Respiratory sleep related disorders are a common health problem and can far reaching and devastating effects. During sleep, children with these problems may experience decrease in oxygen levels, increase in carbon dioxide levels and poor quality sleep. 

The results can be wide ranging, including effects on brain development, the heart and blood vessels metabolism and even the immune system.

With the opening of this new four-bed sleep and ventilation unit, Royal Brompton Hospital can offer comprehensive evaluation and care for children with sleep and sleep-related disorders. It is now possible to provide better care for children who rely on ventilators to breathe, such as those with tracheostomies and are on long-term ventilation. 

The state-of-the-art equipment means that the hospital can not only monitor the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream, but also the movement of the chest and abdomen, the heart rate, airflow and the electrical activity in the brain. This will also allow the hospital to embark on a new programmer of paediatric sleep medicine research and to foster collaborations with leading sleep centres around the world.