Community & Business

17 February, 2023

Hospital equipment a bonus for patients

MORE than $31,000 worth of medical equipment has been provided to the Atherton Hospital by the local Friends of the Foundation, allowing residents to be treated closer to home.

Foundation members Josie Raso, Luci Bultman, Bev Prescott, Dorothy Bew, Di Williams, Jo Barnes, Lyn Swan, Rosa Lee Long Phyne Dugdell and Anna Williams with the trust care walker.
Foundation members Josie Raso, Luci Bultman, Bev Prescott, Dorothy Bew, Di Williams, Jo Barnes, Lyn Swan, Rosa Lee Long Phyne Dugdell and Anna Williams with the trust care walker.

A subsidiary of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the Atherton group has been able to provide four pieces of medical and physiotherapy equipment thanks to their fundraising efforts which include weekly bingo, a shopping trolley in the hospital and other raffles, donations and activities.

Atherton Friends of the Foundation president Dianne Williams was delighted to see the equipment in place.

“Our community works so hard fundraising for the hospital and it’s so amazing to see the fruits of their labour,” she said.

The equipment is comprised of a trust care walker for physiotherapy, a vital signs observations tower, zimmer dermatome and a maxi walker.

Atherton Hospital Medical Ward Nurse Unit Manager Anlin Chalakkal said the maxi walker was a great asset, particularly for bariatrics admissions with reduced mobility.

“With this new equipment, we can make sure of patient safety. Our physiotherapists found this very useful when they try to help the patient,” she said.

“Overall, it has increased the staff confidence as well as patient safety and wellbeing.”

The Zimmer Dermatome is an air-driven skin grafting knife to upgrade current instruments.

Atherton Hospital perioperative services Nurse Unit Manager Lena Bath said it would be the first of its kind in Atherton and would provide exceptional results with consistent, reliable skin graft retrieval.

“This equipment will prevent Atherton’s more complex patients requiring skin grafts from be-ing transferred to Cairns for treatment,” she said.

“For our community, that is about 130 patients a year who can be treated close to home in Atherton,” Ms Bath said.

“We value the kind generosity of the Hospital Foundation for the purchase of this valuable equipment,” she said.

Atherton Hospital physiotherapist Amy Lockyer was grateful for the purchase of a trust care walker and observations tower.

“The trust care walker can be used by people with the use of only one arm. This new walker has already been used several times on the ward for people with various arm fractures and has been vital in increasing their independence, aiding in timely equipment for home trials and ultimately speeding up discharge home from hospital,” she said.

“The observations tower will sit in the physiotherapy rehabilitation gym where group exercise programs including falls prevention, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation are run.

“It is used to check blood pressure and oxygen before starting the exercise groups which helps make sure everybody is fit and able to participate!

“The observations tower is also used by the speech pathologists while doing swallowing assessments to monitor the patient’s oxygen levels with a much higher accuracy than the small portable monitors previously used.

“Allied Health has not previously owned an observations tower and are very thankful to the Hospital Foundation for providing the funding so that we now have one on hand whenever it’s needed.”

Foundation CEO Gina Hogan said it was rewarding to see the equipment in place and used, as a result of fundraising activities.

“The Atherton Friends group work incredibly hard and it’s amazing to see all the end result that’s benefiting patients and staff in this community,” she said.

“Kudos to the bingo ladies and all the other hard-working Atherton Friends who do so much for their community,” she said.


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