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Prize Winning Unit Plays A Key Role In Research

Media Release
22 September 2003

Prize Winning Unit Plays A Key Role In Vascular Research

Professor Tim Buckenham and Professor Justin Roake from the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences have taken the top prize in this year’s Quality Health NZ Awards.

The University of Otago clinical staff have won the national award for the establishment of an innovative Vascular Studies Unit with a multi-disciplinary team at Christchurch Hospital which will mean more effective and patient-friendly assessment of vascular disease.

“In the past patients have had dye put into their arteries and then been x-rayed to determine the nature and extent of their vascular disease. This was often an uncomfortable procedure,” says Professor Buckenham.

“With this Unit they can now have the whole procedure carried out by the non-invasive process of ultra sound, with the same or improved results and at much lower costs. This is the way it is done overseas and we have established a unique unit which combines this clinical advance with research opportunities.”

The new unit will also be the focus of increased vascular research within the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Professor Buckenham says it will focus initially on publishing interesting or unusual case studies and review articles investigating particular topics such as an area of ultrasound treatment.

The most recently published paper was on the ultrasound of vertebral arteries in the prestigious British Journal of Radiology. The Vascular Studies Unit is also taking part in new research into the haemodynamics of fainting.

Other than research the new VSU is also integrally involved in the teaching of technicians, nursing and medical staff in the use of ultra sound for the assessment of vascular disease.

ENDS

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