THE South Gippsland Hospital Community Foundation and the South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary have pooled resources to fund a brand-new monitor for mothers and their unborn babies called a cardiotocograph or CTG.
This machine is more commonly known as an electronic foetal heart monitor, and it can also record maternal heart rates and uterine contractions during the birthing process.
The new CTG is on order and is expected to arrive in Foster next month, when the keenly-awaited and very expensive piece of medical equipment will replace the 15-year-old monitor that is currently in service in the Hospital’s birth suite.
The Community Foundation has contributed $35,000 towards the cost of the coming state-of-the-art CTG, while the Auxiliary has given $7000.
The Foundation’s President Graeme Baxter and Member Marie Larkin, along with the Auxiliary’s Treasurer Carol Barker and Catering Committee Member Deirdre Fegan, visited the Hospital in Station Road in Foster on Friday April 23, 2021 to announce the funding.
“The South Gippsland Hospital Community Foundation is proud to partner with the Hospital and the Auxiliary to provide equipment so that births can be as safe and comfortable as possible,” Mr Baxter said.
“We thank everyone who has made donations and bequests to the Foundation,” he said.
“In this way, the community also supports the important work of the South Gippsland Hospital and allows it to continue and to develop, for the direct benefit of people of all ages who are members of the Corner Inlet community.”
Mrs Barker and Mrs Fegan were also delighted that the Auxiliary’s ongoing fundraising efforts had again resulted in the purchase of another vital addition to the Hospital’s birthing suite.
“This modern CTG will take its place near the special birthing bed the Auxiliary also bought for the Hospital,” they said.
“We’re proud to be able to help the Hospital cross something else off its wish-list.”
South Gippsland Hospital Chief Executive Officer Paul Greenhalgh said the Hospital’s Board and its executive, together with the whole maternity care team “are very grateful to both the Foundation and the Auxiliary.
“The new CTG will give us the ability to safely and much more effectively monitor our birthing women and their babies,” he said.
“This machine is wireless, which means it’s more comfortable for the mother, and women will be able to move much more freely around the suite as the birthing process progresses.”
The Hospital’s Acute Care Nurse Unit Manager Deb Howard, said the new CTG will “certainly help to enhance our women-centred care approach.
“This machine is more accurate and reliable than the current monitor and is much less likely to malfunction during critical monitoring,” she said.
“It will be easier and quicker to use, and so will let us provide a faster response to any abnormalities that may be detected, ensuring better outcomes for the baby and the mother are made possible.”
Ms Howard said the more effective performance of the new CTG means “there is less of a lag-time in the CTG reading being seen, and any changes in either of the two heart rates are picked up quicker.
“We are glad we can offer women monitored care at their local health care facility,” she said.
“Being able to provide evidence-based best practice right here at the South Gippsland Hospital leads to more accurate decisions because of the CTG’s better tracing capability.”
Mr Baxter said “people are always welcome to make donations to the South Gippsland Hospital Community Foundation and may do so at the Bendigo Bank’s Community Bank branches at Foster and at Toora.
“We appreciate how much commitment the community has towards the South Gippsland Hospital and our local medical and health services,” he said.
For further information about arranging a bequest or a memorial gift please contact South Gippsland Hospital Community Foundation President Graeme Baxter on 0427 806 016.