Point-of-care ultrasound systems improve theatre efficency at Sunderland Royal

11-Jul-2012

Boost for trauma and orthopaedics care as equipment aids speed and reliability of nerve blocks

Sunderland Royal Hospital has equipped its dedicated regional anaesthesia room with two SonoSite M-Turbo hand-carried ultrasound systems to perform nerve blocks and improve theatre efficiency in trauma and orthopaedics.

Dr Nathaniel Haslam, consultant anaesthetist with a special interest in regional anaesthesia, said: “The use of ultrasound-guided procedures is an important factor in improving the speed and reliability of blocks and, combined with a dedicated regional anaesthesia room, has enabled us to carry out a higher proportion of the surgical lists as day cases, with better quality analgesia, leading to faster recovery and fewer side effects. By performing blocks between cases in a different room anaesthesia and surgery for consecutive procedures can overlap, offering considerable time savings.”

He added: “The M-Turbo’s superior image quality and resolution is particularly important for injecting nerves that could otherwise be difficult to visualise and place and enables anaesthetists to confidently say how soon a block will take effect. It is very user friendly and exceptionally robust, which is ideal for the hospital theatre environment, and its portability allows the regional block team to attend patients throughout the hospital as required.

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Using point-of-care ultrasound systems to guide the blocks has contributed to a reduction in overnight patient stays and offers significant cost savings for the hospital. The overall efficiency in theatre has improved considerably and we have seen a significant reduction in the length of hospital stay for many complex cases.”

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