Northumbria Healthcare Trust takes ultrasound to Kilimanjaro medical centre

17 July 2008

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, a group of ten hospitals in Northeast England, has taken a Siemens Acuson P10 ultrasound scanner to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania to perform obstetric scanning during a healthcare link project.

The system was trialled by the medical team to contribute to the care of expectant mothers and unborn babies at the centre and in rural health clinics.

Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre

The Acuson P10 is an innovative pocket ultrasound device that weighs just 700 grams. Its highly portable design and battery capacity make it ideal for diagnostics in remote locations, providing instant images to enable a fast and accurate diagnosis. The obstetric team in Tanzania was able to transport the system between wards, the emergency admission room and the ante natal clinic, as well as further afield rural Hai District outreach clinics.

Staff at KCMC were taught by UK Sonographers to assess the gestational age of the foetus with the P10 and carry out urgent scans in high risk conditions. It was used in emergency work to confirm foetal heart beat and placental position before Caesarean section.

Judith Cobb, Ultrasound Lead Professional at Northumbria Healthcare Trust, travelled to Tanzania in February as part of the Northumbria healthcare team. She said, “The Acuson P10 was a fantastic diagnostic tool for the obstetric team in Tanzania to use. As it does not rely on a power supply we were still able to use the system in remote areas where a constant electricity supply is not always available, allowing us to reach a wider range of patients. The instant power-up feature proved vital in emergency situations enabling staff to quickly make important clinical decisions.”

Judith Cobb from Northumbria Healthcare Trust with KCMC staff and patient

“The Acuson P10 is an innovative system that provides healthcare benefits beyond the traditional hospital boundaries,” said Declan Dunphy, Performance Products Manager at Siemens Healthcare. “A versatile ultrasound such as this can enhance a physical examination, providing visual information that enables patients to receive the most appropriate care. Its portability offers great versatility inside the hospital environment and beyond into remote communities.”

The Northumbria Healthcare Trust has well established links with the KCMC and has assisted the medical centre over several years providing equipment and implementing clinical training. It is hoping to build on this success by submitting a research proposal to KCMC with the hope of setting up a new outreach scan service.

Based in the Hai District, the service would provide the opportunity for all women to have an accurate dating scan to allow improved management of high risk pregnancies with safer and more timely intervention.

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