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Howard Memorial Hospital Purchases New Ultrasound Equipment to Improve Patient Safety

General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 7, 2012

Contact: Kristen Meadows
Marketing Specialist
(707)-456-3127

Willits, CA 
- Recently, the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) Auxiliary Volunteers raised the funds to purchase new equipment for patients at HMH. The equipment, a Site-Rite 6 Ultrasound System, is used to visually guide nurses and doctors in inserting intravenous (IV) lines, specifically Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) lines. The new machine reduces the risk of inadvertent arterial punctures, hematoma (blood pooling outside blood vessels) and trauma to the vein. While these problems are rare, HMH is grateful for any equipment that further increases the safety of its patients.

- Recently, the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) Auxiliary Volunteers raised the funds to purchase new equipment for patients at HMH. The equipment, a Site-Rite 6 Ultrasound System, is used to visually guide nurses and doctors in inserting intravenous (IV) lines, specifically Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) lines. The new machine reduces the risk of inadvertent arterial punctures, hematoma (blood pooling outside blood vessels) and trauma to the vein. While these problems are rare, HMH is grateful for any equipment that further increases the safety of its patients.

PICC lines are used for patients who need long-term IV therapy, frequent blood testing, medication delivery, and nutrition. The PICC line is a very small tube or "catheter" that is inserted into the superior vena cava (large chest vein) through an arm vein and can remain in place for weeks or even years. HMH registered nurse Nika Patterson explains why the new equipment helps local patients who require PICC line insertion.

"Before, we would have to borrow a more cumbersome machine from our Surgery Department for the hour-long procedure. The portability of the new machine makes it more convenient for the patient, allowing the vast majority of patients to relax in their bed and even have a family member or friend present while they have the procedure," she said
.

PICC line insertion is usually offered at hospitals in more metropolitan areas because of the highly specialized training required to do the procedure. At some facilities, intravenous lines are placed by a interventional Radiologist. However, two nurses at HMH have been trained to insert PICC lines. Earlier this year, Patterson became board certified for vascular access, and in 2011, earned a Certified Registered Nurse Infusion certification (CRNI®). It is the only nationally recognized and accredited certification in infusion nursing. Both certifications provide her with additional knowledge and skill to work with PICC lines and patients who need IV therapy (e.g., cancer patients who receive chemotherapy).

Without the donation from the hospital volunteers, it is highly unlikely that this equipment would be at HMH right now. The mission of the volunteers is to support the hospital through equipment and service. "We're pleased that we have been able to provide support since 1965," said Jann Lampich, Volunteer Coordinator.