Study seeks fix for block­ages

Spotlight on artery health

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE Hos­pi­tal is pi­o­neer­ing a new na­tional twoyear study work­ing to de­velop a pro­gram tar­geted at im­prov­ing qual­ity- of- life out­comes in pa­tients with blocked leg ar­ter­ies.

The hos­pi­tal is work­ing in part­ner­ship with James Cook Univer­sity, and the multi- cen­tre re­search is also tak­ing place in sev­eral other hos­pi­tals and univer­si­ties in dif­fer­ent cities in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing Bris­bane, Syd­ney and Perth.

Townsville Hos­pi­tal and JCU clin­i­cal re­searcher Lisan Yip said the aim of the trial was to look for ways to re­duce the need for surgery in pa­tients who have Pe­riph­eral Artery Dis­ease, through self- help ini­tia­tives.

PAD is a dis­ease where plaque builds up in the ar­ter­ies

We’re look­ing at be­hav­iour in­ter­ven­tion to help pa­tients deal with the prob­lem


that carry blood to the head, or­gans, and limbs, which can nar­row the op­por­tu­nity for blood flow caus­ing se­vere pain.

“We cur­rently have 30 peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing in the study who all have ex­pe­ri­enced blocked leg ar­ter­ies,” Ms Yip said.

“The par­tic­i­pants have been sep­a­rated into two uniden­ti­fied groups and we are mon­i­tor­ing peo­ple over two years to as­sess the im­pact of self- help.”

Ms Yip said over the two years the par­tic­i­pants would take part in a va­ri­ety of short car­dio­vas­cu­lar- fit­ness assess­ments and bal­ance tests.

“Par­tic­i­pants will re­ceive four con­tacts with spe­cially trained staff to help en­cour­age them and pro­vide them with sup­port,” she said.

Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Golledge said PAD was quite preva­lent in North Queens­land and Townsville Hos­pi­tal treated up to 300 pa­tients a year.

Prof Golledge said while surgery was still re­quired for some pa­tients, it was hoped the study could re­duce the over­all num­bers long- term.

“We’re look­ing at be­hav­iour in­ter­ven­tion to help pa­tients deal with the prob­lem,” he said.

“You can’t re­ally fix ( PAD) by op­er­at­ing on one lo­calised prob­lem so pa­tients usu­ally come back for re­peat oper­a­tions … so what we’re try­ing to achieve is an over­all holis­tic self- man­age­ment ap­proach.”

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