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Chch Hospital purchases machine to improve neurological care

Christchurch Hospital purchases special machine designed to improve the care of patients with neurological conditions

MassimoSET RAD-87 co-oximeter should greatly improve the care of patients with neurological conditions

Christchurch Hospital is the first hospital in Australasia to purchase a special machine expected to greatly improve the care of patients with neurological conditions.

Ward 28, which specialises in the care of Neurology and Neurosurgery, is now the proud owner of a MassimoSET RAD-87 co-oximeter, supplied by Promed Tech.

Susan Shaw, Senior Nurse Ward 28 says the RAD-87 cost $6100 and is unique because it simultaneously monitors a patient's pulse oximetry (monitors oxygen in the blood) and respiratory rate.

"Ward 28 treats a large number of very unwell patients such as those with as brain tumours, motor neuron disease, Guillian Barre syndrome and head injuries and the RAD-87 will allow closer monitoring of any neuroscience patient who is at risk of subtle changes in their condition, allowing prompt, optimal patient care," Susan says.

"Nursing staff have found it easy to operate and it has already been used on a very complex post-operative patient with great success."

Neurosurgeon Dr Ronald Boet says the department had been looking for a machine of this calibre for some time.

"It's a brilliant piece of equipment. Previously, respiratory rate was measured by manually counting breaths per minute but this method does not detect subtle changes and therefore was detracting from optimal patient care for many of the very unwell neuroscience patients," Dr Boet says.

The pulse oximetry is attached to the patient using a standard finger or ear probe and the respiratory monitoring is a micro acoustic microphone taped over the notch between the trachea and the carotid artery, generally midway between mandible and clavicle on the throat.

The respiratory rate is continuously taken and the rate is re-displayed every 30 seconds.

The monitor can be programmed to set maximum and minimum limits for oxygen saturation, heart rate and respiratory rate so it can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient's condition.

The monitor size is small enough to be less obtrusive than most other equipment and is extremely light considering what it does.

It is extremely prompt in alarming when the probe is dislodged or removed.

The microphones are single patient use, can be used continuously for as many days as required and are non-invasive (external tape only).

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