AFTER years of living with chronic wound on his foot, Chris Schussler has a spring back in his step thanks to a new technology being used in Warrnambool.
The Low Frequency Ultrasonic Debridement machine uses new technology in the fight against chronic wounds and the $100,000 machine being used at Warrnambool's South West Healthcare is one of only four available in the state.
Warrnambool is the only regional centre of the four hospitals chosen to participate in active research using the machine to evaluate its performance and effectiveness.
Nurse practitioner Terry Swanson and podiatrist Erin O'Brien are two of only three staff trained to use the machine and said the hospital was fortunate to be part of the research.
"It's new technology for Australia," Ms O'Brien said.
"It seems to clean (wounds) up far better than we could do with a scalpel. We are very lucky to have it here."
The machine cleans wounds though liquid vibration to remove dead and unhealthy tissue, remove bacteria and stimulate wound healing.
It is used for chronic leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, diabetic foot wounds, and surgical wounds.
Since the machine has been in use at the hospital in November about 15 patients had undergone the treatment.
Among those who have had impressive results is 72-year-old Chris Schussler who had been living with an ulcer under his foot for years but after just two months of treatment the wound is almost completely healed.
"The machine is excellent but it doesn't do it all by itself, the people here have been helping to look after it," Mr Schussler said.
Mr Schussler was referred to the out patient treatment by Timboon doctor Andrea Hedgland and he has had treatment twice a week since January.
It is estimated more than 270,000 Australians have a problem with a chronic wound at any one time and during wound awareness week, which runs until Sunday, the Australian Wound Management Association aims to raise awareness about the best approaches to wound care and management.
How to donate to Warrnambool Base Hospital Medical Equipment Appeal:
IN PERSON: Donations (cash, cheques & debit/credit cards) can be made at the Warrnambool Base Hospital's main reception. Donations (cash & cheques only) can be made at Sinclair Wilson, 177 Koroit Street, Warrnambool, and Coffey Hunt,199 Koroit Street, Warrnambool.
ONLINE: at www.southwesthealthcare.com.au
BY MAIL: to The SWH Medical Equipment Appeal, SWH, Ryot St, Warrnambool 3280. (Please make cheques/money orders payable to South West Healthcare).