Help im­proves for sick ba­bies

Kapi-Mana News - - REGIONAL - By JIM CHIPP

He­li­copter crews trans­fer­ring un­well in­fants to Welling­ton Hospi­tal’s neona­tal unit have an­other tool to mon­i­tor the con­di­tion of their tiny pa­tients.

Welling­ton Hos­pi­tals and Health Foun­da­tion have pre­sented the neona­tal pa­tient re­trieval team with a por­ta­ble i-stat mon­i­tor for do­ing blood gas tests en route.

The hand- held mon­i­tor will be used for all crit­i­cal pa­tients who need ven­ti­la­tion or blood tests in the air am­bu­lance.

The hospi­tal’s flight re­trieval team makes at least one flight a day car­ry­ing se­ri­ously ill pa­tients to Welling­ton Hospi­tal.

The mon­i­tor analy­ses blood gases from a prick test within nine sec­onds. The blood is col­lected on a small car­tridge which is in­serted into the base of the ma­chine. Dif­fer­ent car­tridges mea­sure for dif­fer­ent as­pects of the blood, in­clud­ing car­bon diox­ide, glu­cose and elec­trolytes.

The re­sults are stored in the mon­i­tor’s mem­ory and they can be sent to a printer by Blue­tooth.

Neona­tal unit bio­med­i­cal tech­ni­cian Tengseng Ong said the porta­bil­ity is the new ma­chine’s ad­van­tage.

‘‘Now we can do blood gas tests off site, in tran­sit, on the ground or in the air. Once the re­sults are re­ceived, al­most in­stan­ta­neously, the team can tai­lor the ven­ti­la­tion strat­egy and en­sure the best treat­ment for the in­fant. They can op­ti­mise the ven­ti­la­tion by set­ting how fast the oxy­gen is de­liv­ered, the ex­hale/ in­hale times and the num­ber of breaths per minute.’’

Flight in­stru­ment: Welling­ton Hospi­tal pa­tient trans­fer charge nurse man­ager Henny Ni­cholls, left, lab­o­ra­tory qual­ity co-or­di­na­tor Clare Mur­phy, neona­tal in­ten­sive care nurse tech­ni­cian Tengseng Ong and neona­tal in­ten­sive care nurse man­ager Rose­mary Es­cott with a new por­ta­ble blood gas mon­i­tor­ing de­vice.

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