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Let there be light

  • General
Wednesday, 28 Apr 2021

We've just installed state-of-the-art lighting technology in three of our busy Warrnambool operating theatres. Worth $150,000, theatres 1, 2 and 3 are the beneficiaries.

The new lights come with camera vision that projects the underway surgery on to a screen in the actual operating room. This enables everyone in the room to be able to closely view the procedure when they’re not, at that moment, required at the operating table. Not only does this free-up limited space around the operating table, it provides ‘front-row’ learning when it comes to being able to clearly watch the finer details of surgical procedures, and the finer details of the human body (such as organs and structures).

The new technology also provides our surgeons with the ability to manage the light on the surgical field by altering its sharpness (hot to cold) and its brightness (bright to dull) via a light-fitted sterile handle. Until now, our theatre technician or nursing staff have been relied on for this.

The superseded lights were installed in 2002. Between them, they’d witnessed more than 100,000 surgical procedures.Meantime on the surgical front, for the first three months of this year (to March 31), we’ve not only returned to pre-COVID levels of activity but have also treated an additional 110 surgical patients compared to the same quarter in 2020. CEO Craig Fraser says this outcome has been greatly assisted through a continuing public/private partnership arrangement with St John of God’s Warrnambool hospital.

‘Elective surgery returned to 85 percent of normal capacity last September and resumed to 100 percent in late November. The arrangement with St John of God has significantly assisted the full-year impact of the COVID pandemic on surgical activity,’ he says.

‘The demand for both emergency and elective surgery continues to increase and the surgical teams have done a great job in difficult circumstances to get back to normal levels of activity so quickly. We’re continuing to develop and implement further surgical strategies, that include working with neighbouring health services, to address these challenges.’

PHOTO: SWH clinical educator Megan Titmus (from left) and theatre nurse unit manager Melissa Coffey with Draeger IP project/operations manager Asif Momin and account manager Max Khairy in one of our three theatres to receive the new lighting.

Page last updated: 28 April 2021

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