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06th Apr 2017

Hospital launches octopus appeal for their smallest patients

A neonatal unit in Scotland is appealing for crocheted octopi for their smallest patients.

Aberdeen Maternity Hospital’s Neonatal Unit are asking for the crocheted creatures to comfort the premature babies in their care. The hospital cares for around 1,000 premie babies every year.

The unique idea originates from Denmark where a hospital found the octopi comforted babies and calmed them. Babies cuddling an octopus were also less likely to try to pull out their monitors and tubes.

After a similar appeal in November 2016, staff in Poole Hospital on the south coast of England found themselves swimming in crochet octopi for their little patients. The hospital appealed for the cute critters after hearing about the positive health effects they could have on premature babies. Kind hearted members of the public got their crochet hooks and wool out and knitted hundreds of small octopi for the neonatal ward.

Now, the Scottish hospital’s staff are hoping to recreate Poole’s success. Nurse manager Nicole Bauwens told Aberdeen’s Evening Express that the cuddly sea creatures are a great way of soothing the babies,

“The octopus becomes part of the family and the babies have a special bond with them. The staff at the Neonatal Unit are besotted with the interaction the babies have with these octopuses, it really is heartwarming.”

Mum Lauren said she noticed a huge difference since her son, Rohan, was given an octopus called Olly,

“Rohan has benefited greatly since his little octopus Olly joined him in the Neonatal Unit. It has brought him great comfort. The octopus is also a great way of measuring his progress in growth.”

A Facebook page has been set up for any crochet creatives who would like to to get involved. There’s also a handy pattern here. Nawwww.