The Health News – 21 September 2015

Overview:
• The Tasmanian Government has revealed plans to reopen 12 beds at the Launceston General Hospital in the hopes of easing pressure on the emergency department. A support plan will see the beds open in the 4D Ward from this month until December, allowing the hospital to introduce new patient flow initiatives.

• A South Australian mother was “deprived of the opportunity for survival” because a country doctor failed to follow official procedures. Coroner Mark Johns found Dr Peter Ross Marsh should have followed the iCCnet (Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network) protocol. She died at home in her bed after waking up, groaning and arching her back.

• Four Launceston artists are preparing for their runway debut, having been paired with local designers to create “wearable art” for themselves and their wheelchairs.The display is part of a new Interweave Arts initiative, dubbed Roll Modelling, and Interweave director Kim Schneiders said the art helped to break down barriers.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st September 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-19/launceston-general-hospital-to-get-12-more-beds/6789162

The Tasmanian Government has revealed plans to reopen 12 beds at the Launceston General Hospital in the hopes of easing pressure on the emergency department.

Last month, the nurses union said the hospital was in crisis, with some patients waiting a week in the emergency room before getting a bed in a ward.

Now, a support plan will see the beds open in the 4D Ward from this month until December, allowing the hospital to introduce new patient flow initiatives.

After December, the space will be used for the redevelopment of the Allied Health Department.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the Government was committed to solving the hospital’s problems in the long term.

More than nine full-time equivalent permanent nursing staff will also be added, initially to staff the new beds and later becoming part of the hospital’s wider nursing pool.

It is hoped the additional staff will reduce the number of nurses working double shifts.

The State Government’s new plan will also see the creation of a patient flow unit with expanded operation hours.

A patient flow expert will be appointed to help oversee the changes.

Mr Ferguson said the measures combined would benefit the public.

The support plan commences on September 28.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-18/coroner-says-country-doctor-failed-follow-cardiac-protocol/6787156

A South Australian mother was “deprived of the opportunity for survival” because a country doctor failed to follow official procedures, the Coroner has found.

Fiona Louise Selby-Fullgrabe, from Moonta Bay, died suddenly in May 2013 of a rare heart condition called coroner artery dissection.

The inquest heard how a tear in the wall of her left coronary artery caused blood to build up between the wall’s innermost layer and the next layer.

The build-up of blood created a pocket or balloon that blocked off blood flow.

The inquest was told that the mother-of-two was sent home from the Wallaroo Hospital on the Yorke Peninsula, when she should have been admitted and a cardiologist contacted.

Coroner Mark Johns found Dr Peter Ross Marsh should have followed the iCCnet (Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network) protocol.

“This is an excellent system and has no doubt saved many lives during its existence,” Mr Johns said.

“The protocol is designed as a lifesaving aid for regional and remote practitioners such as those working in the Emergency Department at … Wallaroo Hospital.”

Mrs Selby-Fullgrabe was rushed to hospital with intense pain in her chest and arms after earlier passing out.

She died at home in her bed after waking up, groaning and arching her back.

Mr Johns said the protocol should be applied to all patients with symptoms of acute coronary syndrome.

“It also serves another purpose, namely to ensure that patients such as Mrs Selby-Fullgrabe, who do not meet the typical profile of a cardiac patient, are not overlooked.

“Because she was young and female, Mrs Selby-Fullgrabe did not fit that classic profile.”

The Coroner stopped short of finding that her life could have been saved if the protocol was followed.

The Coroner also found that a registered nurse could have persuaded the doctor to recall Mrs Selby-Fullgrabe or asked another doctor or senior nurse to intervene.

“While in my opinion, the primary responsibility for Mrs Selby-Fullgrabe’s discharge in contravention of the protocol rests squarely with Dr Marsh, it does seem to me that an opportunity was lost when Nurse [Helen] Crosby did not assume responsibility for either challenging him for his decision not to follow the protocol or for elevating the matter.”

Mrs Selby-Fullgrabe’s husband, Kain Selby-Fullgrabe, was at court for the finding but declined to comment publicly.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-19/launceston-artists-take-to-the-runway-in-wearable-wheelchair-art/6788248

Four Launceston artists are preparing for their runway debut, having been paired with local designers to create “wearable art” for themselves and their wheelchairs.

The display is part of a new Interweave Arts initiative, dubbed Roll Modelling, and Interweave director Kim Schneiders said the art helped to break down barriers.

“It’s about inclusiveness and using art as a tool to make great sort of community communication,” she said.

“We’re trying to educate the community, and be creative.

“We have two community artists… and they have worked with our Access Arts Link artists and a few other wheelchair users and it’s all coming from their ideas and their hopes and aspirations.”

Minna Blaney is one of the participating artists, and spent the past two months designing and creating her superhero costume.

“They’re all sort of characters and I’ve been doing paper mache and everything to get it all together,” she said.

“[It’s] exciting because I’ve never done anything like this before.

“We work on everyone’s costume, we’re helping each other out, so I just do whatever needs doing to help out the rest of the artists.

“[My favourite part is] probably paper mache but also the teamwork… the atmosphere… and doing the art as well.”

The group is working with largely recycled materials, to keep costs down, but Ms Schneiders said that did not hamper creativity.

Interweave Arts received $7,500 from Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) earlier this year to initiate the project.

The participants will model their designs as part of the Remade Fashion Show at Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in November.

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