Coffee helps buy equipment


CUPS of coffee and carparking at Cairns Hospital have helped fund more than $101,000 worth of equipment that has been handed over this week.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the equipment was bought partially through donations and partially through the Foundation’s commercial operations. “All the profit from our carpark and two cafes goes towards improving patient outcomes. All our costs are covered by our commercial operations which means we can provide more than $1 million each year to improve patient outcomes,” Mr Franz said.
The equipment includes an ultrasound for anaesthetics valued at $74,800, physiotherapy equipment worth $9693, a spirometer for paediatrics worth $2530 and a nasal pharangeal scope for thoracics worth $14,363.
Cairns Hospital senior staff specialist anaesthetist Dr Andy Potter said ultrasound technology at the bedside helps anaesthetists perform many important bedside tests and procedures.  “These procedures may include local anaesthetic injections being placed accurately around specific nerves to improve pain relief and comfort during and following surgery, the placement of drips especially in children, and detailed monitoring of the patient’s heart and lung function,” Dr Potter said.
“The anaesthetists at Cairns Hospital are extremely grateful to the Hospital Foundation and all in the community who have donated and contributed to the work of the Foundation for providing us with the latest ultrasound technology.”
Cairns Hospital Rehabilitation Physiotherapy acting Director Kere Donald said the Easystand was used on patients with neurological injuries such as stroke, head injury and spinal cord injury of any age. “The Easystand standing frame will enable patients who are more dependant, achieve standing earlier in their recovery and maintain standing for long periods of time,” Ms Donald said.
Cairns Hospital clinical director of paediatrics Dr Neil Archer said his department was “exceptionally grateful” for the community and Foundation’s support in buying the spirometer.
“It is of great importance for us in helping to manage children with chronic respiratory problems such as chronic asthma, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis where there may be changes to those volumes of air and obstruction to the flow. As such we can monitor their progress and assess the impact of interventions or any new treatments. The program includes some visual animation ‘incentives’ such as blowing out candles (or my favourite of a monkey trying to swing on a vine to grab some bananas) that helps children learn and maintain their technique as well as a database to keep a long term record of their results,” Dr Archer said.
Respiratory physician Dr Stephen Vincent said the nasal laryngeal portable fibrescope was invaluable for evaluating people with unexplained coughing and breathlessness. The equipment, worth more than $14,000, also was important for assessing vocal cords. “From a respiratory point of view, this will probably be used daily – it will help reduce waiting lists and make for more efficient diagnosis of unexplained respiratory conditions,” Dr Vincent said.


Main Photo: Cairns Hospital Respiratory physician Dr Stephen Vincent demonstrates the nasal pharangeal scope on Cairns Hospital senior staff specialist anaesthetist Dr Andy Potter.

Bottom Photo: Cairns Hospital Rehabilitation Physiotherapy acting Director Kere Donald  demonstrates the Easystand to Foundation CEO Tony Franz.

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