New ultrasound equipment improving the surgical experience for thousands of patients

16 Jan 2018

Barts Charity funding of £19,000 has enabled the anaesthetic department at Whipps Cross to purchase a new ultrasound machine, improving care for up to 57 surgical patients every week - nearly 3,000 a year.

During the past 10 years, ultrasound has become an essential tool to improve the quality and safety of anaesthetic procedures. This new machine uses the latest ultrasound to locate nerves to administer a regional anaesthetic "block".

This results in less pain for patients and avoids the need for general anaesthetic and its negative side effects like nausea, vomiting and delirium.

"Overall this ultrasound machine has helped us improve patient care and experience, improve safety, reduce pain after surgery and enable some patients to go home earlier or on the day of surgery," says Chris Barringer, Substantive Consultant in Anaesthetics (pictured).

Patients who have been helped the most include those having painful knee and hip replacement surgery, and those having surgery on their shoulders.

It is also proving beneficial to those having orthopaedic trauma surgery. Chris adds: "Last week I performed an interscalene block for a patient who had to have extensive surgery to fix a broken arm. She was still breast feeding and the block enabled her to have the surgery with no need for post-operative morphine, and so continue to breast feed.

"On behalf of the anaesthetists at Whipps Cross Hospital I would like to thank Barts Charity for funding our Sonosite S-nerve ultrasound machine. It has made a significant difference at Whipps Cross Hospital. We have been able to provide better, more efficacious, faster acting and safer nerve blocks," says Chris. 

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