Fairfield Hospital's paediatrics department cycles to raise awareness about the plight of preterm babies

Wheely good: Fairfield Hospital doctors, nurses and midwives cycled 36-kilometres on Sunday through the Western Sydney Parklands starting and finishing at Lizard Log.

Wheely good: Fairfield Hospital doctors, nurses and midwives cycled 36-kilometres on Sunday through the Western Sydney Parklands starting and finishing at Lizard Log.

Did you know preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death for children under-five?

Or that Fairfield Hospital's highly-trained neonatal nursing and medical staff cares for more than 280 preterm and low-birth weight babies each year in their dedicated special care nursery?

On Sunday, a group of 20 doctors, nurses and midwives from the hospital cycled 36-kilometres to raise awareness about the plight of preterm babies to coincide with World Prematurity Day.

Led by Fairfield Hospital Neonatal and Paediatric Specialist Dr Laurence McCleary, On Your Bike 4 Kids (Fairfield Hospital's charity bike ride team) took on the Western Sydney Parklands cycle path from Lizard Log to The Dairy across to the Prospect Reservoir and via Pemulwuy through Greystanes before returning to Lizard Log. The "amazing" cycling event was the start of a week of activity at Fairfield Hospital to raise awareness and funds for the management of preterm babies.

Dr McCleary said his "passionate" team was hampered by the lack of equipment which would be aided by a CPAP ventilator which would provide respiratory support to babies until they can get to an intensive care centre.

"The first few hours is vital to the outcome. If we have the right equipment we can stablise babies so they will be in better condition when they get to these hospitals and the outcomes will be better," he said.