Wrapping up a Corporate Christmas
Christmas was such a festive time at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. Not only did our corporate partners brighten up the lives of sick kids in Hospital during the Christmas period but their support has enabled us to purchase essential equipment like:
Ventilators are essential life support machines for the care of critically ill children. They are core to the work of any Intensive Care Unit (ICU) keeping children alive and stable until they are well enough to undergo surgery or until they can breathe unassisted or with a personal device. These advanced ventilators can help convert children to less invasive support methods where assistance is delivered by mask, nasal mask or nasal prongs. More easily tolerated, children require less sedation and can be more interactive with family and carers. Two new ventilators will support at least 66 children with life-threatening illnesses or injury per year. Over their 10-year lifespan, that’s more than 660 critically ill patients!
An EEG is a safe, painless test which records the electrical activity produced by the brain. The brain’s electrical activity fluctuates from second to second, but routine EEGs provide only a 20-40 minute sample of this activity. An ambulatory EEG allows prolonged monitoring, digitally recording brain activity for 24-72 hours. The equipment will be used to help to record brain wave potentials in children suspected with epilepsy. After the EEG is connected to a patient, they can go home and return to hospital the next day. Ensuring enough data is available to make the correct diagnosis, this equipment is vital for neurologists when the diagnosis of epilepsy is still unclear. Without an ambulatory EEG, it is difficult for neurologists to make important and life-saving decisions determining the best pathway of care for patients.
Procedures that require local or general anaesthetic can be stressful and scary for children and their parents. The use of ultrasound not only helps to speed up anaesthetic procedures but increases patient safety and comfort in a non-invasive way. Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures inside of the body. This offers excellent guidance for anaesthetists to access difficult veins and administer nerve blocks for surgery and local procedures. Needle misplacement can be recognised immediately and corrected, significantly reducing the risk of potential complications. The new ultrasound machine will benefit many children who must undergo anaesthetic procedures for illness and injury, making their experience at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick safer and more comfortable.
An ultrasound probe produces sound waves that bounce off body tissues. The probe receives the echoes from these sound waves and uses them to create an image of the inside of the body. The replacement probe will be used by anaesthetists with the ultrasound machine to more accurately view blood vessels and nerves. This helps them to safely and quickly administer local and general anaesthetics for surgery or other small procedures.
Children may require a colonoscopy to help identify causes of stomach pain, bleeding from the bowel or diarrhoea. Helping doctors investigate the lining of the colon or large intestine, colonoscopes are long flexible tubes with a light and camera that are used to perform these procedures. A new paediatric colonoscope for the surgical team at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick will allow more procedures to be performed. These will help to identify inflammation, bleeding or ulcers in the colon and large intestine and allow biopsies to be taken for further examination. Doctors are then able to diagnose and monitor bowel disease or gastrointestinal disorders and to identify the correct treatment pathways for children.
Reflux causes discomfort and sometimes vomiting and choking for children. Impedance monitors are used as a diagnostic tool to measure the amount of acid reflux a child has. New impedance monitors were required for the Gastroenterology Department to help determine the best management for reflux and identify the need for medication or surgery. With at least two impedance studies being performed per week at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, three new monitors have been purchased which will benefit over 312 children who are referred from all over NSW each year. Without this equipment, treatment and diagnosis would be delayed and children could receive misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment or unnecessary surgery.
Lounges & Chairs
The environment surrounding patients in the Mental Health Unit can have a significant impact on how they respond to treatment. Creating a calming and positive space for adolescents attending the Mental Health Unit at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick will help to provide comfortable and therapeutic surroundings for young people and their families. The welfare of both patients and staff is also of high importance, so safe lounges and chairs have been sourced to replace the furniture in both the patient areas and our family meeting room.