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Northern Brainwave Appeal

Charity and Not-for-Profit

About Us

The Northern Brainwave Appeal was established in May 1988 to raise funds for medical technology for the advanced care of patients in the Directorate of Neurosciences now at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne. This is the Northern Region’s Neuro Centre.

Its inspiration came from Margaret Cowen, who decided to raise funds after her husband was treated there.  Sadly both Margaret and Gerry Cowen have now passed away but it was their wish that the Trustees continue with the charity.

Since its launch the Northern Brainwave Appeal has raised over £2,000,000 which has been spent on creating a new modern monitoring environment for the care of patients recovering from serious head injuries, strokes or neurosurgery and on operating theatre and neuroradiology equipment.

Why we're raising money

TheNeuroscience High Dependency Unit was first opened in 1987 to meet the need forcontinuous monitoring of severely ill head injured patients as well as thosewith stroke, brain tumours and other conditions that follow neurosurgery.

Continuousmonitoring offers the advantage of being able to detect changes in the patientbefore they would otherwise be noticed and so allowing preventative treatmentto be used before brain damage occurs.

The appeal hasraised the money for the essential monitoring equipment in the Unit. Each bedhas facilities for continuously monitoring vital information for the preventionof further brain damage. All these monitors have been replaced in the newbuilding at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI). The new monitoring unit in theNeurosciences Directorate at the RVI needs new monitors.

Equipment forventilation and maintenance of oxygen requirements has been purchased. Theappeal has also bought computers which record and analyse data forresearch.  The Charity has also fundedthe provision of a CT scanner and an MRI scanner at the RVI.

Additional sophisticated monitoring equipment is required todetect the earliest signs of impending brain dysfunction in critical Careenvironments and in the Operating Theatres and Interventional NeuroradiologySuites. The equipment requires considerable research and development andwill not only benefit individual patients but will also permit the developmentof new techniques which will help future patients.

The appeal continues to raise funds for new research and for theincorporation of these new techniques into clinical practice. In partnershipwith the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust it has introducedsophisticated image guidance and electrophysiological monitoring equipment intothe neurosurgery operating theatres.The Regional Neuroscience Centre cares forpatients from the whole Newcastle upon Tyne Region and all over the North ofEngland.


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