Home' Southern Health News : December 2016 Contents Compliments corner
FMC helps stop the
BY JACQUIE VAN SANTEN
It's called getting 'hangry' -- when hunger
turns to anger -- and Flinders Medical
Centre (FMC) is hoping it will soon be a
thing of the past for emergency theatre
Fasting before surgery is critical, as it reduces the
risk of regurgitating the contents of the stomach
while under anaesthesia. Generally, an adult patient
will need to fast for a minimum of six hours before
a surgical procedure to reduce the contents of the
But what happens if the surgical procedure is delayed?
"In theory, patients coming through the Emergency
Department who require surgery are fasted and then
operated on. But in a busy public hospital like FMC we
have to juggle priorities as more urgent cases arrive,
or elective surgery lists run over time," explained
Brianna Reade, Clinical Practice Improvement Officer
in Surgery and Perioperative Medicine at FMC.
"Sometimes, this means a patient who has fasted all
day might only learn in the evening that their surgery
has been re-scheduled for the next day. In these
instances, the patient is offered a sandwich and is
"These patients may already be anxious about their
impending surgery, and being hungry can add to their
negative emotional state. It's not an ideal situation for
patients - or those around them."
Working on feedback from FMC Consumer
Representatives, who provide consumer feedback and
input into SALHN on its services and performances,
the hospital has introduced The Fasting Project.
Under the new guidelines, patients awaiting surgery
have had their fasting time reduced from midnight
to 2am. From 2am until 6am they can also have clear
fluids, including cordial, water, black tea, black coffee
and even sports drinks. Patients at higher risk, such
as those with diabetes or the elderly, are also given a
A dedicated kitchen area has been set up in one of the
hospital's surgical wards and is stocked daily with fresh
salads, sandwiches, fruit and cup-of-noodles.
The initiative is currently being rolled out into the
Emergency Department and includes the trial of
wristbands to indicate which patients can eat, and
those who need to fast.
"Patients who need to fast wear a bright orange
wristband, which makes it easy for staff, patients and
their families to identify their fasting status," Brianna
"By providing a wide range of tasty and nutritious
foods -- and educating staff, volunteers, patients and
their families about fasting -- we hope to make the
hospital experience a more positive one."
"The initiative also cuts down on food wastage,
because hospital staff have a better idea of how many
meals to order for their patients," she said.
Ward 5, Repatriation General
I would like to take this opportunity to
pass on the thanks of myself, my mother
and siblings for the wonderful care the
staff of Ward 5 at the Repatriation General
Hospital provided to my father, John Ward,
during his recent stay. He was a patient
in the ward for several weeks. He was
treated with empathy, respect and dignity
by all despite his challenging behaviours.
Not forgetting the cleaning staff whose
friendly attitude also provided Dad with
someone else to share his many stories. I'm
sure everyone heard them several times.
His meals, too, were something to look
forward to, so thank you everyone.
In particular I would like to mention Emma
Kerr the social worker assigned to the
ward. Her support and understanding
enabled us to cope with the adversities of
our situation. She was empathetic and very
encouraging which enabled me to cope
with the difficulties I encountered along the
My thanks to a wonderful team.
Noarlunga Hospital and Flinders
I would like to express my sincere thanks
and gratitude to the staff at Noarlunga
Hospital for the remarkable experiences
that I have had in August and September
for first my right hand Carpal Tunnel release
followed by my left hand.
The experience was smooth from start
to finish with attention to detail and the
follow up once I was home was very much
Noarlunga Hospital works with Flinders
Medical Centre and so I also want to praise
the staff at the clinic there as well, in
particular Dr Nicola Dean who performed
I can now look forward to having my hands
back and I look forward to doing day to
day tasks without any adverse affects.
Thank you all so very much.
Flinders Medical Centre
Recently, I was referred to the Flinders
Medical Centre Eye Clinic for attention
by an Ophthalmic Registrar and my
expectations for service were, I will
admit, not high at all, expecting to wait
around for a few hours. This is why I'm
prompted to write to you as I had to
attend the clinic almost every day for eight
days and from day one I was absolutely
impressed on a number of levels.
A benchmark was established in the main
ED where I was attended to without
delay; escorted immediately to the Eye
Clinic by an orderly where the service
didn't step down at any time from there
over the next days. The girls on reception
and the nurses who did eye tests were
friendly courteous and efficient.
Dr Fardash Abedi was very thorough
and personable, not only to me but
as I observed with other patients that
needed his attention. I expected a quite
impersonal experience and was amazed
that the treatment/service was not less
than in the private Ophthalmic practice
that had referred me to the hospital. There
was an obvious system that worked well,
overall making a very positive impression
on me and I wasn't released until Dr.
Fardash had assured himself that there
was no further risk of infection flare up.
Thank you and congratulations on the
wonderful service that you provide
with obvious care and efficiency.
14 / DECEMBER 2016 / SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS
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