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HAVING a baby is one of the best times in life, but giving birth can often leave mums a little worse for wear.
Westmead Hospital midwives are using a practice that reduces the chance of sphincter injuries.
Pelvic Floor Unit director Dr Jenny King set about finding why the injury was on the increase.
Her research led her to Finland, where the opposite was the case.
“We have educated our midwives on the Finns’ practice, which has seen these birthing injuries reduce by 35 per cent over the past 12 months,” Dr King said. WHILE blood transfusions can be life-saving, clinicians at Westmead Hospital have found ways to reduce the need.
The hospital has instituted practices to minimise the procedure in its cardiac surgical unit.
Westmead Hospital perfusionist Rona Steel said: “Procedures are utilised that do not dilute patients’ haemoglobin, and minimise post-operative blood loss. We also get a clotting profile of the patient.
“In just five months, we have reduced transfusions by 46 per cent and the practices are being rolled out across other disciplines.” PATIENTS are the beneficiaries of a workplace redesign in the Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Stroke Service at Blacktown, Mt Druitt hospitals. Allied Health, which includes speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, are critical to the recovery and quality of life of stroke and aged care patients.
As our population ages the waiting lists for allied health services grows.
Claire Ibrahim, senior occupational therapist at Blacktown, Mt Druitt hospitals reviewed the allied health assistant workforce to discover they could do much more. KEEPING a newborn baby warm is paramount, but when the infant arrives prematurely it becomes critical.
Ann-Maree Padernia, clinical nurse educator in Westmead Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), has devised new practices to keep these tiny bubs at the optimum temperature of between 36.5C and 37.5C.
“Strategies developed to maintain thermal stability include a new method of wrapping the babies in polyethylene so they can still be examined without heat loss,” Ms Padernia said. WESTMEAD Hospital’s senior pharmacist Tony Lai and his team are educating doctors on the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials so patients don’t become susceptible to infections in hospital.
Antimicrobials kill microorganisms or keep them from multiplying or growing.
They are most commonly used to prevent or treat disease or infections due to microorganisms.
“By using a narrowspectrum antimicrobial, we are targeting the infection without compromising the patient’s immune system against other bugs,” Mr Lai said. BLACKTOWN Hospital has taken the lead with a hospital-wide medication documentation program that paves the way for electronic prescribing.
The project staff developed improvements to drug documentation with a focus on admission and discharge.
Electronic medication management improvement pharmacist Annie Chong said the system aimed to remove barriers to identifying accurate medication histories and improve a patient’s understanding of their drugs.
The fix included providing more information to emergency departments. ONE of the biggest challenges in Westmead Hospital’s Neuroscience Unit is watching for patients who may fall.
Clinical nurse consultant Diane Lear said the nature of the patient’s injury or illness makes them prone to falling and potentially further injury.
“We had more than 2000 admissions last year,” Diane said.
To reduce the likelihood of toppling over, staff assess patients weekly.
They have also allocated a special room with beds that can be lowered to the ground with concave mattresses and the room is staffed by a nurse 24/7.