The Rural Stroke Trust, Port Macquarie Pink Ladies and Hastings Cancer Trust have contributed funding to buy a specialised piece of equipment that will help hospital staff better support patients who have a swallowing disorder.
The Video Fluoroscopy Swallow Study (VFSS) chair is designed specifically to assist medical staff perform moving X-rays of patients who have difficulty swallowing.
The procedural chair, which cost $15,248, was recently presented to Port Macquarie Base Hospital’s Speech Pathologists, who are the clinical lead in the assessment and management of patients with swallowing disorders.
Speech Pathologist Elissa Hodge said the donated chair was an important step towards the establishment of a specialised clinic that would enable objective swallowing assessments to be offered to Port Macquarie Base Hospital patients.
“The clinic will provide a moving-type X-ray, called fluoroscopy, which allows Speech Pathologists to observe a patient’s ability to swallow in real time,” Mrs Hodge said.
“This helps us to evaluate the patient’s ability to swallow safely and effectively and to diagnose and treat medical conditions that affect swallowing.
“The chair makes the procedure more comfortable for patients and ensures stable and safe seating for patients with physical limitations.
“The chair is a wonderful gift to our hospital and will benefit a broad range of patients, including stroke, neurological and head and neck cancer patients,” Mrs Hodge said.