Leaking a bit? 

Welcome to our first Spinal WA eNews for 2017!

In this edition of Spinal WA eNews,

How to fix a leaking bladder! 

Most people with SCI have bladder accidents occasionally. If you are leaking more than usual or are having problems managing incontinence there are services to help you.
  • Leaking more than usual? Have a urine sample tested through your GP to see if you have a UTI (urinary tract infection). Drink extra fluids and take a few Ural sachets to try and flush out any potential bugs. If you do not have a UTI but you are still leaking then contact the Spinal Urology nurse at Fiona Stanley Hospital (6152 2222). If you do have a UTI your GP will arrange antibiotics if necessary.
  • Botox no longer working? – If you have had Botox and are starting to leak again get a urine sample checked for UTI through your GPIf your urine results are clear but you are still leaking then contact the Spinal Urology nurse at Fiona Stanley Hospital (6152 2222) to discuss another Botox injection.
  • Other problems – If you are having issues with catheters, need some advice on continence products or have other questions about bladder management you can contact the Spinal Community Nurses on 9381 0124 (Mon-Fri office hours). This nursing service can also come to your home. For more information click here.

Keep your bladder and kidneys healthy

Bladder and kidney issues are one of the main reasons people with SCI end up back in hospital. To keep your bladder and kidneys healthy it is essential you have the following tests once a year:
  • Renal ultrasound – checks that your kidneys are safe with your current bladder management
  • Urodynamics – Checks pressures in your bladder and how well your medications are working (not necessary for indwelling/SPC catheter users who do not use a flipflo valve)
  • Urology review – Meet with a doctor/spinal urology nurse to discuss any problems with your bladder management
For more detailed information, please visit the Spinal WA website here

Spinal Urology Services at FSH

The outpatient staff and Spinal Urology nurse try to ensure that all spinal patients are seen for annual review, but if you have not been seen for over 12 months it is important that you take the initiative!
  • Have you been seen at Fiona Stanley Hospital before, but not in the last 12 months? Call FSH State Rehabilitation Outpatients, Level 1 (6152 7329) who will be able to contact the relevant staff to arrange an appointment for you. 
  • Never been seen by Spinal Urology at Fiona Stanley Hospital? Call FSH State Rehabilitation Outpatients, Level 1 (6152 7329) to find out if they have a current Urology referral for you. If not, you will need a referral from your GP to the Spinal Urology service. Outpatients will then notify you of your appointment date. If you have a current referral but have not been seen for over 12 months please tell the outpatient staff who will take the necessary steps to arrange an appointment for you.

Free nursing service for everyone with SCI

Did you know that the Spinal Community Nurses provide a free home visiting service for anyone with a spinal cord injury? 

The Spinal Community Nurses are currently based at the Quadriplegic Centre in Shenton Park, but travel as far as Geraldton, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Esperance. They are in the process of setting up a telehealth link for video conferencing with patients in more remote areas.

Photo of the Spinal Community Nurses from left to right: Julie Evans, Peter Jeremic, Emma Shanahan.

There are 3 nurses involved, and between them they have over 40 years of experience with SCI which means they have seen just about everything! Some of the problems they can help with:
  • Bladder/bowel – they can give advice about problems with bladder management and have samples of different products. They can also help with improving your bowel routine if bowel accidents have become a problem for you
  • Skin – seen something when doing a skin check? The spinal nurse can come and have a look and let you know how to treat it, and help you work out what caused the problem
  • Equipment – advice on suitable equipment and sources of funding
  • Funding eligibility - advice on sources of funding and eligibility
  • NDIS – can assist clinical staff with information for plans
  • Silver Chain – can refer patients to Silver Chain when necessary
  • GP – can give advice to GPs who need more information about SCI
The Community Spinal Nurses try to make contact with all new SCI patients before they leave hospital or within 3 months of discharge. If you haven’t heard from them give them a call and introduce yourself. If you have just moved to WA, or have returned after a few years away, please make contact and they will add you to their database.

The Spinal Community Nurses can be contacted during working hours, Monday-Friday: 
North of the river (up to Geraldton): 0409 683 603
South of the river (up to Albany): 0417 977 299
East of Perth (up to Kalgoorlie and Esperance): 0409 894 185

Insurance Commission funds SCI research

The Insurance Commission of Western Australia has provided funding to the Neurotrauma Research Program for patient-focussed research projects aimed at improving the recovery and rehabilitation of people with catastrophic injuries to the central nervous system. Applications are now invited for one-year research grants, applications must be submitted by 5.00pm (AWST), 18th April 2017! 

Click here for more information!


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