PRIZE MEDICS EARN TOP CARE AWARD
ARI’S team are first in UK to receive honour
THE staff of an intensive care unit at a busy city hospital have been awarded a platinum plaque – the first in Scotland – for their service and dedication.
NHS Grampian’s Intensive Care Unit earned the “Centre of Excellence” title for the level of care shown to patients using an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.
The ECMO team at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was presented with the award by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation – the first UK centre to receive this level of award.
The ECMO machine treats a variety of conditions affecting the respiratory system, and can also be offered as a means of support either before or after heart surgery, when the heart is too weak to work properly.
It draws blood from a patient’s vein, adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, then warms the blood before returning it via an artery and pumping it around the body.
This method lets blood “bypass” the heart and lungs so they can recuperate.
The Intensive Care Unit’s ECMO staff celebrated by inviting back former patients, their families, and staff to ARI’S Suttie Centre for a reunion.
NHS Grampian chairman Professor Stephen Logan unveiled the plaque along with NHS Grampian’s first ECMO patient, Sarah Goodyear.
Prof Logan said: “We are well aware of the challenges the NHS can face – the whole service in Scotland is challenged – but we are lucky to have centres of excellence like this one in the North-east.
“It is important for our staff to know their service is JOHN Calder, 71, spent four days on the ECMO machine for treatment of pneumonia and sepsis two years ago.
He said: “It is emotional looking back but principally I think we’re here to celebrate what this team has achieved because my experience was great.
“It’s not just the skills of the team that are tremendous, but the warmth of the team. “They displayed a lot of commitment and for me, I know I wouldn’t be here
“One of the doctors had said to me, ‘Mr Calder, we don’t often get the chance to bring somebody back from where you have been’.
“I now get to see my daughter through her highers, it’s a priviege and it’s all because of the ECMO nurses.” appreciated, and centres like this are the jewel in our crown.”
This sentiment was echoed by the directors of the unit, critical care consultants Dr Ian Scott and Dr Stephen Friar.
Dr Scott said: “When we cared for them we had to remove ourselves from the situation, so to see the families makes it all real.
“We may be geographically disadvantaged compared to the Central Belt so to attract more people to work in the North-east, we must offer specialist services.”
Dr Friar said: “It’s hard to recognise the patients here because they’re all so healthy.
“In terms of doing things in the North-east of Scotland, this is a big deal – it’s a service not many other places offer.
“To have it here, means we attract doctors and nurses – and it keeps them working in the North-east. It’s down to the goodwill of the staff, they’re not paid any more to go above and beyond the call of duty.”
O “Thanks to NHS team for dedicated care”, Page 18
Emotional: Former patient John Calder spent four days receiving treatment on the ECMO machine.