ARI’S team are first in UK to re­ceive hon­our

Evening Express (City Final) - - Uk & Abroad - By Jodie Molyneux

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.

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