Ultrasound technology will improve patient experience

Two new state-of-the-art ultrasound scanners are set to reduce discomfort and speed up recovery for patients undergoing mastectomies and other surgical procedures at the Friarage Hospital.

The scanners, which are designed to significantly reduce discomfort through the more accurate use of an anaesthetic technique called nerve blocking, have been provided thanks to a £42,000 investment from the Friends of the Friarage.

Used with a local anaesthetic, or in combination with a general anaesthetic, nerve blocking allows a highly targeted approach to anesthetising the patient prior to surgery. This results in an improved patient experience, with quicker recovery rates and lower numbers of patients having to stay in hospital overnight. 

Consultant anaesthetist Richard Muzawazi said: “The staff are delighted that the Friarage has now got these two ultrasound machines which can be used for guided nerve blocking, reducing risk of sickness and pain after surgery; allowing most patients to be discharged home on the same day.

“Nerve blocking also allows patients considered not fit for general anaesthesia to have their operations done under nerve block alone. 

“The combined impact of all this is that ward nursing staff can concentrate more on the patients who are critically ill, as their overall workload is reduced. This happens as patients experience fewer side effects from anaesthesia and are more often pain free.”

Senior operating departmental practitioner Julie Clark, said: “The ultrasound nerve blocking procedure means women undergoing a mastectomy will be in less pain when awakening with less analgesia (pain relief) necessary, significantly reducing grogginess and nausea.”

Donna Jermyn, chairman of Friends of the Friarage, said: “The Friends have been helping the Friarage Hospital for over 60 years and this is another example of where our involvement can assist in the provision of quality healthcare services for the benefit of the local community.” 

Picture: Donna Jermyn and Dr Richard Muzawazi