New device to help save lives

ATHERTON Hospital staff and patients had a heart-stopping moment recently, when a new cardiac testing device arrived, courtesy of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.

Hospital Emergency Department acting nurse unit manager Karina Walther said the $7600 blood pressure monitor would be used regularly on patients with suspected cardiac problems.

“Nurses take blood pressure on a patient while they are walking/running on a treadmill, continuously holding onto the treadmill,” Ms Walther said.

“This makes it very difficult to hear, as there is a lot of external noises. The doctor or nurse then needs to focus attention on the machine to input the blood pressure results. Through this new machine, we are now able to focus on the patient the whole time, as this machine automatically takes the blood pressure through a microphone inserted in the blood pressure cuff. This documents the data into the test itself, leaving the nurse and doctor to focus on the patient,” she said.

“This little device will bring much relief to our nurses who strive to provide the best care of our community.”

Foundation CEO Tony Franz said it was important to support equipment requests from outlying hospitals such as Atherton.

“The funds for this equipment actually came about through the profits from our commercial operations, and it is really wonderful to hear how purchases like this can make a real difference to patient outcomes,” Mr Franz said.

“Equipment like this doesn’t cost a lot of money, but if it makes the job of caring for patients better and easier, then it’s a great outcome for everyone,” he said.

Caption: Dr Betty Tawake, Nurse Jennifer Whitmill and patient Justin Hall at Atherton Hospital with the new blood pressure monitor.

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