Lions contribute to heart equipment

Gathering around Gore Hospital patient John Caughey are, from left, Pakeke Lions Club secretary...
Gathering around Gore Hospital patient John Caughey are, from left, Pakeke Lions Club secretary Brian Pitcher, treasurer Henry McFadzien, president Fay Graves and hospital chief executive Karl Metzler. Mr Caughey is being monitored by a cardiac telemetry monitoring system paid for in part by the proceeds of Pakeke Lions Club book sales. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
The proceeds of two Pakeke Lions Club book sales have paid for more than half the cost of the latest patient monitoring equipment for Gore Hospital.

The club has contributed $40,000 towards a $70,000 cardiac telemetry monitoring system.

Hospital chief executive Karl Metzler said the machine monitored a patient’s vital signs including heart beat and blood pressure and sent the information to a monitor in the nurses’ station.

"If we weren’t able to do that on a 24/7, minute by minute basis, then those patients [would] have to be transferred to a base hospital. And generally that base hospital is Dunedin [which has] the cardiac facilities.

"Not only does it allow us to keep patients here monitored, it often means we can treat them here and send them home."

He believed the machine would save lives.

The previous system was still working and accurate, but was outdated, he said.

"It’s always good to move us in to the 21st century and have world class new equipment, which is what this is."

If the patient did need to be transferred to another hospital, part of the machine could be removed and go with the patient so they continued to be monitored.

It also saved family members the drive to Dunedin.

Patients with heart-related issues were on the increase at the medical practice and emergency department, he said.

Once the new hospital was built in Dunedin it might be possible for patients attached to the telemetry machine to be monitored from Dunedin.

Dr Bob Basta, of Seattle, who previously worked at the hospital, and his wife Margaret, have pledged $20,000 a year for five years to the hospital.

Some of this money was used as well as the proceeds from last year’s Farmlands Gore Christmas appeal.

As a community owned organisation, the hospital was grateful for the support it received from different groups especially the Lions, Mr Metzler said.

"I would really like to acknowledge the generosity of the Pakeke Lions again."

Pakeke Lions Club treasurer Henry McFadzien said the proceeds of its annual book sale were usually earmarked for a large project.

"We felt this was pretty beneficial for the whole district because it’s the latest technology."