A COMBINATION of hard work and hungry farmers enabled South West Healthcare Woolsthorpe auxiliary to raise almost $20,000 to purchase a much-needed piece of medical equipment.
Auxiliary president Kathleen Dicks said auxiliary members provided 600 meals at cattle sales at Winberack, Woolsthorpe, a quarantine facility, over 30 days from March to May this year.
Sale proceeds, combined with the auxiliary’s smaller earlier fund-raising efforts, purchased the haemodialysis unit’s $19,950 portable ultrasound machine.
“We were a bit lucky really. We got on to the heifer station that supplies the heifers for overseas trade. It was a full-on thing and they asked us to do it. That was our main thing (for the year),” Mrs Dicks said.
“It’s out in the bush, they can’t go around the corner (to buy food),” Mrs Dicks added.
Haemodialysis unit manager Sheryl McCluskey said 16 patients had dialysis three times a week, for five hours per session at the Warrnambool Base Hospital.
She said patients had a fistula in their arm which was sometimes difficult to access and the portable ultrasound machine would help locate and access the vein more quickly, easily and accurately.
“Most of the other dialysis units have one (portable ultrasound machine) so we definitely saw the need for it,” Mrs McCluskey said.
Dialysis removes waste products from the blood when the kidneys fail. Dialysis sessions filter the patient’s blood to remove accumulated fluid, harmful wastes, extra salt and water.
The new unit will save patients the anxiety of being flown to Melbourne when a difficult-to-find fistula could not be cannulated.