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Ward 11 Spinal Unit move to Fiona Stanley Hospital
As you know, the Spinal Unit is moving to the new Fiona Stanley Hospital on the 4th of October.
The unit will now be known as - Spinal Rehab, State Rehabilitation service.
F.S.H have just released the following information about the move -
http://spinalwa.org/well/fiona-stanley-hospital/
The Spinal WA page will be updated as new information comes to hand, so keep checking back.
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UPCOMING EVENTS
Disability and Sexuality Forum. Desires, Needs, Access, Friendships, Sexual Expression and Available Services
October 3 @ 8:45 am - 5:00 pm

Sleep DownUnder 2014 – Spinal Cord Injury Session
October 10 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Connections 2014
October 13 @ 8:45 am - 6:00 pm
Meet The Community
Lisa Cattalini – Occupational Therapist at Posture Tech
Lisa Cattalini (R) discussing seating options with Jim Cairns (L)

Lisa is part of the wheelchair and postural seating team at Posture Tech a service provided by Rocky Bay for people of all ages living with disability. Lisa has worked in the area of wheelchairs and wheelchair seating for 15 years, and can assist with selecting the right wheelchair, pressure mapping for choosing the correct cushion, as well as postural supports for sitting or lying down. Lisa can also provide advice on specialised seating, and the team at Posture Tech recently enjoyed developing a custom cushion for Jim Cairns to use in his Polaris XP1000 while racing in the Australian Safari. If Posture Tech does not have the expertise or clinical skills to do the job they will refer you on to someone who can help.

Like all jobs there are challenges. Much of the equipment a person using a wheelchair needs is not stocked or made in Western Australia, and equipment delays are a common problem. Access to funding, especially for equipment required urgently or in an emergency, can be challenging but is not impossible. 

Here are some tips from Lisa about wheelchairs and seating:
  • Try a wheelchair before you buy, and be actively involved in the decision process
  • Move and change position regularly to relieve pressure
  • Check your skin for discoloration that is not normal for you, report it to your community nurse as it may be the start of a pressure injury
  • Being overweight can affect your propulsion, restrict your choice of wheelchairs, affect community access and impact your overall health - get the right health advice from qualified health professionals
  • Persistent pain related to use of your wheelchair and/or seating needs to be investigated not tolerated. So many people tolerate pain unnecessarily
  • If you have lots of problems with damage, repairs, injuries etc the equipment may not be right for you. Let your therapist or health professional know
  • Speak UP
Spotlight on research in SCI
It is estimated that up to 85% of people with SCI will experience problems with pressure ulcers at some time in their lives. The AusCAN project is an international collaboration between clinical centres in Australia and Canada, to look at factors associated with the development of sitting acquired pressure ulcers following SCI.
 
Figure 1. Interface pressure mapping sitting on your own wheelchair and cushion.
Two of the Chief Investigators for the AusCAN collaboration are based in Perth, Professor Michael Stacey (School of Surgery at University of Western Australia) and Associate Professor Jillian Swaine (The Institute for Health Research, University of Notre Dame). They are currently running a study called AusCAN Risk Assessment for Sitting Acquired Pressure Ulcers that is designed to identify what factors are associated with the development of a pressure ulcer (now called pressure injury in Australia). This is an observational study over 3 years using new technologies such as ultrasound of the buttocks, interface pressure mapping (Figure 1), and measurement of pelvic position using a digital inclinometer. Participants are shown a new and easier way to do skin checks developed by the AusCAN team. This study still needs adults with SCI living in the community who are at least 10 years post SCI. If you are interested in participating in the study and learning more about pressure injury prevention please click here. Your participation will help people with SCI around the world to more accurately identify their risks and prevent pressure injuries.
 
AusCAN Prevent Study: The AusCAN Research Collaboration also has a new study that will be starting to recruit in Western Australia in November 2014. The aim of the study is to see if using technology such as biofeedback will increase the number of pressure reliefs people perform in a day when using their power wheelchair. The ultimate goal is to prevent all pressure injuries from sitting by letting the wheelchair user know when to do a pressure relief. This new technology is mounted to a power wheelchair and uses an interface pressure map, an iPod Touch, a data collection box and specialised software. The pressure map sends information to the data collection box. The software calculates how long you have been sitting and the pressures under your buttocks over that time. It displays a ‘risk’ number from 0 to 100; the higher the number, the higher the risk. The number is displayed on the iPod© Touch. The person knows that when it is high risk (red in colour), they need to move off that area by performing a pressure relief. Each participant will be assessed to determine the length of time they need to hold a pressure relief, by measuring their tissue response with a Laser Doppler device. Please contact Marianne Mullane or Luke Brennan m: 0452 208 846 to register your interest in participating. 
 
It is exciting times for research here in WA for people with SCI, especially with the new spinal unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Please come and visit the AusCAN team in their new lab at the Rehabilitation Services building at Fiona Stanley Hospital on 6 November 3-6 pm. Level 1, Outpatients Workshop – Art - Woodwork Room R.1.112.
Copyright © 2014 Spinal WA, All rights reserved.


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