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Give Vertigo patients hope this Christmas

19 Oct 2022

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Physiotherapist Kate Walker and her team are putting the call out to Wishlist supporters to give hope to vertigo patients this festive season after her successful grant application was placed onto the charity’s ‘Our Wishlist’.

From July 2020 to June 2021, 818 patients presented to Nambour General Hospital (NGH) or Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) with vertigo, and with the lifetime prevalence of moderate to severe vertigo and dizziness sitting at 30%, Ms Walker has advocated for the purchase of Infrared Video Goggles, equipment that will provide more effective assessment, earlier intervention and faster discharge.

Ms Walker applied to Wishlist in February as part of the Sunshine Coast Health Foundation’s project funding rounds, requesting two sets of Infrared Video Goggles valued at $5357 – one of the most valuable tools for accurate diagnosis of peripheral vestibular conditions and central vertigo (Stroke).

“At present, SCUH and Nambour Hospital inpatient wards do not have a dedicated pair of Infrared goggles. Inpatient units may borrow equipment from vestibular outpatient services, however this is sometimes not possible, causing potential delays in the delivery of clinical services,” Ms Walker said.

“The Infrared goggles work by providing a clear recording of eye movements, with or without visual fixation.

“Vertigo can be extremely distressing for patients. Delayed management can lead to balance impairments, falls and difficulty performing daily activities. This can lead to further injury and disability if not managed effectively.”

Ms Walker envisions just within the 4A Stroke Ward, the goggles will benefit 108 patients per year, and hundreds more given the widespread effects of having this equipment readily available for physiotherapists and medical professionals in other wards.

“Evidence clearly identifies that the use of the Infrared goggles will enhance our quality of assessment and may reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety that can occur with delays in diagnosis,” she said.

The Infrared goggles are earmarked to transform lives in Stroke & Neurology and Inpatient Medical Units at SCUH, and within Emergency and the Inpatient Units at NGH.

Wishlist are seeking some big hearts this festive season, so they can fund Ms Walker’s project and continue their annual $1 million commitment to the SCHHS. Donate now!

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