Over 50 Years of Service Providing High Quality and Well Fitting Prosthetic Limbs to our Amputees [Interview][Transcript]

Luke_Lorenzin_Artificial_Limbs_AppliancesGuest: Luke Lorenzin
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Luke Lorenzin started his Prosthetics and Orthotics career at Barry Leech Prosthetics and Orthotics as a Graduate in 2008, he knew from the outset that Prosthetics was to be his chosen speciality. After about 18 months he decided a change was needed and took up a Prosthetist Position at Brisbane Prosthetics and Orthotics. There he was to manage two external clinics and further his knowledge in both the clinical and technical aspects of P&O. In 2010 he was appointed Manager at Artificial Limbs & Appliances Pty Ltd. As Manager he has overseen the rejuvenation of a 40 plus year old company. Outside of his work life he is an active member of Surfers Paradise SLSC, enjoy getting to the beach both for patrolling and competitions.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Clinical Manager for Prosthetics Luke Lorenzin from the Artificial Limbs and Appliances Pty Ltd joins us today to discuss their products and services. They pride themselves for providing quality service to the amputees of Queensland and their goal is to ensure that all their clients achieve their highest possible level of function. They cater to all levels of limb amputation, and their products include lower limb products such as micro processor knees, high energy storing feet and cosmetic prosthesis with life like appearance as well as upper limb prosthetics which include myoelectrics devices, body powered prosthesis and purely cosmetic prosthesis.

Transcript

Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today Luke Lorenzin, Clinical Manager at Artificial Limbs and Appliances Proprietary Limited in Queensland Australia. Luke, welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Luke Lorenzin: Thanks Wayne, thanks for having me.

W: You’re very welcome. Now Luke Artificial Limbs are one of those thing that I guess you don’t even think about until you need one, but I understand Artificial Limbs and Appliances has been around for quite a long time in Queensland.

L: Yes, Artificial Limbs and Appliances is the second oldest private prosthetic company in Australia. It started in 1972 and has been going stronger ever since.

W: And give us a sense of I guess the range of the services you provide.

L: We’re quite fortune at ALA to the everyone from young children through to athletes, trauma victims, people who suffered some form of circulation or vascular problem, through to the elderly. So our age range is from sort of 18 months through to 90 plus years, so we see all people of all ages.

W: And Luke what’s the geographical footprint that you service, because you’re not just Brisbane based are you?

L: No we travel all over Queensland. So we have clinics and then provide services in Toowoomba, to Sunshine Coast, Deception Bay, and Rockhampton at the moment.

W: And Luke, do people have to be referred to you or can they just ring you up?

L: No, people can just call up the office and make an appointment. A lot of our funding comes through the government scheme, Queensland Artificial Limb Service. So that funds 80% probably of our workload and then we have insurance clients and privately funded individuals. But yeah, no referral required.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. I’m in conversation with Luke Lorenzin who is the Clinical Manager for Artificial Limbs and Appliances. And they’re a Queensland based firm that has a foot print right across Queensland and servicing clients from 18 months to a 100 and 8 years of age apparently. Luke give me some insight into the sorts of artificial limb work that you do.

L: Well for instance, for any amputee is obviously have an amputation, they then go the what’s called the “Interm phase or recovery phase” were they fit it with a prosthesis and they learn to walk,. So we’re involved with that initial phase of their rehabilitation, working with physio’s and OT’s and rehab specialists, and from there once they’ve gained enough confidence they’ll move to their definitive prosthesis, where potentially componentry changes to a more upgraded standard. And from there they’re able to get back to their daily lives and be back in the community doing what they used to do before amputation.

W: And I guess from time to time prosthetic limbs wear out and you have to get a new one.

L: Yes. So the average life of a prosthetic limb is three years. Some people would be lucky to get 18 months out of them, the ‘hard yakka’s old fable’ especially some of our farmers, and construction workers, landscapers these guys are pretty hard on their componentry. Young kids as well, always growing so they’re back and getting adjustments, some repairs and things and a new leg about every 9 to 12 months. So we’re kept pretty busy.

W: It sounds like it. As I said, it’s one of those things that in two years, sort of take the lid off and have a look you just don’t think about despite working in the health industry all the time.

L: Yeah, definitely. It’s an industry that’s quite rewarding, and like you said I never personally thought about it until I suffered an injury and was fitted with a ‘moon boot’ and if it wasn’t through that injury I might not have found that the industry I ended up in today.

W: Yes, it’s not the sort of thing when you ask a grade 5 kids what they want to do when they grow up, a fireman and the policeman are across the top 10 answers but prosthetist doesn’t quite often come in there.

L: No, you have to go to the university for three 3 years almost to be a prosthetist, and it’s a bit of a tongue twister. But yeah, you’re right it is a quite a niche industry but it is quite a rewarding one to be involved in.

W: Now Luke in every industry there are misconceptions and it’s my favorite question. What are the misconceptions among your customers, clients, patients, clinicians that drive you nuts and keep you awake at night?

L: I think people, they are pretty good. They understand that a prosthetic limb isn’t going to replace the limb that they have lost. It is mechanical device, it is an extension of an amputee and I think the misconception really comes down to the funding bodies sometimes, thinking that you know this a $100,000 limbs aren’t giving the quality of life back to the amputees that the price tag reflects. But when you do the patient outcome and the testing you do see that an individual’s quality of life does improve with the use of the most appropriate technology. So I think that’s probably the misconception from our industry that we are constantly putting forward to the funding bodies. And the more evidence we get for that is gonna help every amputee get the best componentry possible for them.

W: Well let’s hope that we can help with dispelling a little bit of that misconception today on Health Professional Radio. Luke how do people get in touch with you?

L: You can call our office, which is 07 3266 1255. We also have a website www.alaprosthetics.com.au. And we do have a Facebook page which we keep everyone up to date with, if you just search Artificial Limbs and Appliances and with the blue and white logo.

W: Luke thanks for your time today. It’s been a pleasure having you on Health Professional Radio with us. If you’ve been listening and you’ve just missed my conversation with Luke. Luke is the Clinical Manager at Artificial Limbs and Appliances. The good news is we have a transcript on our website at www.hpr.fm. You can also listen to the interview again it’s on SoundCloud and on YouTube and links to that are also on our website. My name is Wayne Bucklar, you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.