Ultrasound machine for Shellharbour Hospital thanks to convoy

Easy access: Shellharbour Hospital Auxiliary president Lyn Thomson with clinical nurse consultant Amy Khan, testing the device on a colleague.
Easy access: Shellharbour Hospital Auxiliary president Lyn Thomson with clinical nurse consultant Amy Khan, testing the device on a colleague.

A new “vein-finding” machine will make intravenous therapy at Shellharbour Hospital a whole lot less painful for patients – particularly the very young, the elderly and the seriously ill.

The Venue 50 Ultrasound System, valued at more than $25,000, was funded by the Illawarra Community Foundation, from the proceeds of last year’s i98FM Illawarra Convoy.

Shellharbour Hospital director of nursing Kerry Shanahan said the ultrasound technology would help nurses find veins where they couldn’t feel them, resulting in fewer pin pricks.

In the same way it would also help prevent damage to veins, and lead to fewer delays in receiving treatment.

“The purpose of the equipment is to enable clinicians to find veins easily for patients undergoing a number of procedures, including blood collection and intravenous therapy,” Ms Shanahan said.

“It will be particularly beneficial for those patients with difficult-to-find veins, such as elderly patients, those undergoing ongoing treatment like chemotherapy and those patients who are deteriorating throughout the hospital.”

Shellharbour Hospital Auxiliary applied for the funding, with its president Lyn Thomson delighted with the result. “This piece of equipment makes it a lot easier for staff to give care to patients with the least amount of discomfort,” she said.

“This is the second time convoy has purchased a much-needed piece of equipment for this hospital – with a portable bladder scanner donated in 2017 – and we are extremely grateful.”

Illawarra Community Foundation manager Mark Rigby said a number of the region’s hospitals had now benefited from convoy funds.

Port Kembla Hospital has received a portable bladder scanner, while a $250,000 donation to Wollongong Hospital’s children’s ward helped kick-start its redevelopment project last year.

“Through the funds raised through convoy we are able to help out individuals and families affected by life-threatening medical conditions – and the charities that support them,” he said. “We are also proud to provide equipment and support our local hospitals.”

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