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Intrepid cyclists aiming to raise £22,000

A team of staff, patients and friends and family will be cycling 200 miles in two days to raise £22,000 for a portable ultrasound device for the Southampton Paediatric Rheumatology Fund. 

The Bow Tie Bike Ride (named after the bow tie shaped route) team will set off from Southampton on 13 September 2014 and travel through Winchester, Portsmouth and Poole before arriving back at Southampton General Hospital the following day. The intrepid cyclists will each cycle 200 miles over the course of the weekend in order to raise vital funds. 

This portable ultrasound device is crucial for the treatment of children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). This is a form of arthritis which affects 1 in 1,000 children across the UK. The cause is unknown but the result is that children have inflamed painful joints. There are different forms of treatment for JIA, but no cure at the moment. It’s really important for children with JIA to be monitored closely throughout their care to ensure they remain in remission of their disease as much as possible. 

JIA is monitored in regular appointments at a clinic. An ultra sound scan is often used as part of the examination process and one that helps confirm active disease. However, in some of the clinics supported by Southampton hospital, once the professional has identified that a scan is needed, it isn’t possible for a child to have this straight away. Instead they have to come back, sometimes up to four weeks later, for a scan, and then come back again for a separate appointment to receive their results. The whole process can take up to 12 weeks. While the child is waiting for their scan and the results, their treatment is delayed, meaning that they are often in pain and less mobile than they could be.

However, if the team had a portable ultrasound device, they could bring this with them to the clinics, meaning that the children can have their scan right away and they don’t have to wait for the results. This means children can get the right treatment straight away, rather than waiting for months in pain and decreased mobility. If the Bow Tie Ride team raise £22,000 they will be able to fund the purchase of this. 

Sarah Hartfree, Paediatric Rheumatology Nurse Specialist said: “The portable device will help us to speed up the way in which we care for our young patients. Children shouldn’t have to wait for weeks for an ultrasound scan. This portable scanner will save the family time and worry allowing diagnosis potentially more quickly. It will also mean that children aren’t left in pain and less mobile. We’d really encourage as many people as possible to sponsor the team.”

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