11 May 2023

Making patient monitoring portable with a new cardiac monitor

You’ve had surgery or a heart attack. Rather than letting your muscles waste away, you can now move around the hospital ward, with support, helping to get you home quicker.

“On the cardiac high dependency unit, we look after patients both pre and post-cardiac surgery, or those who’ve had a heart attack where we have to do some form of invasive intervention to save their lives,” explains Claire Goodley, Sister.

Portable cardiac monitor

Every day, we take in between four to ten new patients to our 18-bedded unit.

While on average our patients stay with us for only a few days, some can be with us for weeks until they are well enough to be moved to one of our other cardiac wards.

It is crucial that patients don’t let their muscles deteriorate or lose their confidence in moving around. But to do that, we need to get them out of bed and walking.

Keeping patients active and positive with their recovery stops their body deteriorating with muscle wastage. You’d be surprised to hear that someone can come in one night after heart bypass surgery, then the following day we can get them back on their feet and walking, with support!

Currently, the patient monitors are big, clunky, and require two people to move the patient and the monitor at the same time. These monitor the patient’s heart rhythm and blood pressure, so our patients need to be connected to one throughout their stay with us.

Through Southampton Hospitals Charity, we’ve funded two portable cardiac monitors costing £7,500. These are very light and can be hung on to our mobile drip poles, meaning we only need one staff member to accompany the patient.

The new monitor has really changed how quickly we can get patients up and walking about. The physiotherapists and nurses can spend more time with each patient and do rehabilitation more often, helping our patients to get home quicker.”

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