Thanks to donations to the Western Health Foundation, five bladder scanners have been purchased for Sunshine Hospital to aid in the diagnosis of patients with urinary retention.
Urinary retention - the body's inability to completely empty the bladder - is a common medical issue that causes severe and constant discomfort in patients.
The causes of urinary retention are numerous, but generally are the result of a bladder obstruction such as urinary tract stones, an enlarged prostate in men, or reduced bladder functionality due to medications or nerve issues that interrupt signals from the brain to nerves in the bladder that control the release of urine. In other instances, patients can develop temporary urinary retention post-surgery.
Bladder scanners provide a safe, non-invasive diagnosis tool for assessing a patient's ability to empty their bladder.
The scanners, worth over $16,000 each, are portable, hand-held ultrasound devices, which can perform a quick, easy and non-invasive scan of the bladder. The scanner has an ultrasound probe and transducer to reflect sound waves from a patient's bladder to the scanner. Data is then transmitted to a computer in the handheld unit to automatically calculate bladder volume.
"Bladder scanners allow nursing staff to do an accurate scan of a patient's bladder allowing for a quick diagnosis and subsequent treatment as opposed to a more invasive catheter option which can be painful as well as having associated risk of infection," says Monique Sammut, Nurse Unit Manager Ward 1A.
"The entire scan takes only a couple of minutes to complete and being a mobile scanner it is much better for patients as the scanner can be taken to their bedside rather than the patient having to be taken to where the scanner is.
"The value of these scanners in aiding in the diagnosis of patients cannot be underestimated. We are so grateful to donors who have given so generously to the Foundation in order for these scanners to be purchased."