Funds raised nationally through Children’s Hospital Foundations Australia are divided equally between the 5 partner hospital foundations and directed into the areas of greatest priority in each hospital.
As a result of the generous support of our National Partners, to date, we have been able to contribute to this list of significant and essential projects at each of our hospitals.
Respiratory Research Funding:
With Respiratory conditions being the most common cause of children admitted to emergency, CHFQ formed the Emergency Medicine and Respiratory Research Group (EMRRG), focusing primarily on Respiratory conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, Asthma and common or complex coughs, translating research results into clinical practice which will directly benefit the treatment of a sick child.
Telemedicine Health Units:
Funding for 3 Telemedicine units in 2012 enabled the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane to assist in regional health delivery by the Centre for Online Health (COH), supported by the Children’s Health Foundation QLD in conjunction with the University of Queensland.
COH’s telepaediatric service is the largest in the world. In the past, 10-minute checkups could take families two days to get to because they would have to travel to Brisbane – now, by using videoconferencing, doctors can “visit” 10 regional sites and speak to 10 families in an hour and a half.
In the period between July and November 2011 there were 1,038 telemedicine consultations across 24 medical specialties. The telemedicine units purchased are an interactive audio-visual media for doctors and clinicians to use for remote patient examinations or consultation. The purchase of 3 units significantly increases the capacity for COH to reach more sick kids in regional Queensland.
We fund a world-leading telemedicine service run by the Centre for Online Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital. This provides specialist medical care to hundreds of rural and regional children via videoconference, fax, email and the internet.
An Oscillator for the Intensive Care Unit:
In a mother’s womb, a baby receives all the oxygen it needs from the mother’s blood, which is passed to the baby’s blood via the placenta and along the umbilical cord. Once born, all babies have to get their own oxygen by breathing. This can be a particular problem for very premature babies.
An Oscillator (High frequency ventilator) will be used in the case where a newborn baby in ICU is having difficulties breathing on their own or born prematurely and their lungs have not fully developed. The Oscillator will puff small amounts of air into the lungs hundreds of times a minute. The baby’s chest appears to vibrate and although this may look alarming, it is actually less invasive and more efficient to the care of a baby with extremely poor lung function.
The Oscillator is a fundamental piece of equipment in the ICU ward of a children’s hospital, and without the funds of our national partners this vital piece of equipment would not have been purchased.
Endoscopes are a very fine piece of equipment used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body. Endoscopes are key in the surgery and treatment of babies and children, because they are small and less invasive. Disinfection is, therefore, essential, but unlike other medical instruments, endoscopes cannot be heat sterilised as the high temperatures would destroy the sensitive devices.
The Soluscope machine has a unique self-disinfection cycle, that the endoscope does not become contaminated. It is also fast and thus makes sure that used endoscopes can be reused as soon as possible in the surgery wards. The other benefit of the Soluscope is that it needs fewer chemicals to achieve the same high level of disinfection as other machines.
The new Soluscope will become a critical piece of equipment on the surgery wards for doctors and nurses treating more than 4,400 children who undergo surgery each year at Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane.
Ear/Nose/Throat Endoscopy Operating Stack:
This state-of-the art equipment, offers the ENT surgeons at PMH enhanced visibility during procedures through the nose, larynx and major airways. This equipment is essential to facilitiate innovative keyhole surgeries, which are minimally invasive procedures leaving fewer if any visible scars, often with decreased pain experience by the child, improved recovery times including reduced risk of infection and other complications.
The purchase of this equipment in 2010 enabled PMH to treat more children with improved outcomes.
For nearly 30 years, Kalparrin has played a pivotal and respected role supporting families of children with special needs at PMH.
With the support of PMH and the Disability Services Commission (DSC) Kalparrin has been able to develop and provide information and support services to families of all children with special needs at PMH irrespective of the nature or degree of severity of the child’s condition or the existence of a definitive diagnosis. This funding has enabled Kalparrin to maintain its base operations and ensure that Kalparrin services can continue to be offered to the families of all special needs children who access PMH.
Emergency department guidelines
At present, accessibility to the PMH Emergency Department (E.D.) Clinical Care Guidelines is limited to those practitioners with access to the WA Health (HDWA) website. Even then, access is sometimes problematic in state hospitals with website access if the practitioners are not Department employees. In addition, practitioners at the Royal Flying Doctors’ Service (RFDS), WA private hospitals, general practitioners (GPs) and nurses in metropolitan, rural and remote areas of Western Australia are also unable to freely access these Guidelines.
The PMH Guidelines have recently been through a significant revision process. The successful introduction and dissemination of the Guidelines to health practitioners caring for children both locally at PMH and in all areas of WA will result in more consistency in the health management of children. This project will provide a valuable resource to support WA health practitioners caring for acutely ill children across the State.
Making this resource available has the capacity to improve the quality of life for paediatric patients and their families and may even reduce the need for transfer to tertiary level care, which is a major inconvenience to families in our largest and often isolated state.
The Stevenson Chair Coagulation and Stroke Research Programs:
Funds given to Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation has enabled a continuous three years of funding towards the Stevenson’s Chair research program at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne (RCH).
The Stevenson’s Chair research program is a key position for the Hospital campus and has significant impact on the patients at RCH. The value for the Hospital in having this research program funded allows more active involvement in clinical and educational activities of the Hospital. There are also benefits in terms of advocacy for children and the Hospital’s international reputation as a leader in research for a number of prevalent child illnesses.
The two major components of the Stevenson’s Chair research program are:
Emergency Department Refurbishment:
In recent years SCH’s Emergency Department has experienced a 30% increase in patient presentations and has been in great need of an update.
In 2010 ‘Children’s Hospitals’ helped fund The Emergency Unit refurbishment, including a reconfigured triage area to improve patient flow, ensuring prioritised treatment in a more efficient manner, improving lines of sight from the triage nurses to patients in the waiting room and increasing the level of privacy for patients.
The upgraded Emergency Department has provided a more efficient and pleasant environment for the Emergency staff and over 36,000 patients and families who utilise the unit every year.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanner:
This piece of equipment is primarily used in the assessment of Cancer but also brain disorders such as epilepsy. For cancer patients the use of a PET scanner will result in earlier and more accurate diagnosis of tumours, earlier detection of recurrence of tumours and more accurate prognosis.
Laparoscopic Cameras for Surgery Department:
‘Children’s Hospitals’ funded 6 Laparoscopic Cameras for the Surgery Department at SCH in 2012. This equipment was urgently required to perform complex and specialised surgeries in a less invasive manner. The benefits of minimally invasive paediatric laparoscopic surgery includes decreased post-operative pain and complications, very small incisions with little or no scarring, faster recovery time meaning a shorter stay in the hospital. These cameras are used every day in the hospital for heart surgery, appendectomies, bowel operations in new born babies, operations on kidneys, undescended testes, removal of tumours and biopsies.
Clinical Services Wing
Due to population growth and the expansion of specialist services for sick and critically-ill children, SCH has outgrown our existing space and needs to expand for the future. Construction recently began for a new Clinical Services Wing for our Hospital, the most significant development of our facilities since the construction of Sydney Children’s Hospital in 1998.
The new Wing will house a purpose-built, child and adolescent mental health unit, specialised brain injury and rehabilitation unit and enable better co-location of services equating to more efficient treatment and less overcrowding within the Hospital.
“The Breathing Space” Gene Therapy / Respiratory Centre development
This purpose built facility at WCH aims to bring together all the elements required for treating children with respiratory conditions.
It will provide a lab-to-bedside approach to research and treatment for the child, which is a less invasive, faster and more direct approach to treatment.
We have made a significant contribution to the $2.6 million WCH needs to build the new floor to house this state-of-the art facility.
Adolescent Ward Refurbishment
A refurbishment to the current Adolescent Ward was a high priority for WCH to help create an environment appropriate and conducive to the needs and care for the 1,200 adolescents cared for each year.
The new Adolescent Ward, fund in 2012, has enabled an increase in room capacity, age appropriate furniture, TV’s and games units as well as provide better facilities for parents and staff so that WCH are able to look after adolescent patients holistically.