Making cutting edge upgrades possible

Two new state of the art ventilators have been installed in the Emergency Department (ED) to help provide better respiratory support for all children admitted to emergency needing breathing assistance.

The ventilators in the four resuscitation rooms are used to provide ventilation to ED patients, including during medical imaging procedures and transfer to intensive care. Children requiring ventilation are some of the sickest patients treated in the ED and require high-level care.

The ventilators, which were purchased thanks to funding provided by the Werribee Ladies for Kids and CasKids Auxiliaries, ensure all the ventilators in the ED are uniform, and in line with what’s used in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Dr Stuart Lewena, who is the Director of the Emergency Department, said the new ventilators will improve patient safety through consistency of practice.

“The new ventilators permit seamless transition of care between the ED and PICU as both departments are now using the same equipment, increasing staff familiarity during this period of handover in care,” Stuart said.

“It also means that all ventilators in the ED are now the same brand, again improving staff familiarity, simplifying training and reducing the risk of incompatible circuits between different types of ventilators.”

Two of the ventilators that were previously used in the ED were not able to ventilate patients under five kilograms. In the past, these infants were often hand ventilated, which is less controlled than machine ventilation and staff intensive.

“In addition to the benefits of having a single model of ventilator, the new ventilators are superior in ventilating small infants compared to our previous models. The new ventilators can be used on the full spectrum of emergency patients including infants under five kilograms, who comprise 20 per cent of patients ventilated in ED,” Stuart said.

“Previous models of the ventilators were also frequently requiring maintenance. There were many times when one or more ventilators were off site being repaired.  We now have an adequate fleet of four ventilators guaranteeing constant availability to meet demand regardless of whether one or two are undergoing maintenance.”

The purchase of the cutting-edge ventilators wouldn’t have been possible without funding support provided by the Werribee Ladies for Kids and CasKids Auxiliaries.

“Our appreciation for the support of the Auxiliaries in maintaining access to up to date medical technology and equipment cannot be underestimated.  This equipment is used on the most critically unwell children coming to our ED and ensures our capacity to deliver them the best care possible,” Stuart said.