Potentially life-saving technology has arrived at Hawkesbury District Health Service (HDHS), and management says it's a 'game changer' in the treatment of critically ill babies and children at the hospital.
The camera technology, called Vision for Life (VFL), provides a visual connection between the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS) and the hospital's special care nursery and emergency department, facilitating critical decision-making on patient care.
NETS is an emergency service for sick or injured babies, infants and children needing transfer to specialist perinatal or paediatric centres, and forms part of the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network.
The cameras enable NETS specialists to see unfolding situations at Hawkesbury hospital in real time. This increased situation awareness and knowledge allows the NETS specialists to support the hospital staff on the floor through any immediate changes.
The efficiency of the treatment provided is greatly improved as is the outcome for the baby or infant in care. Prior to the introduction of the camera technology, the important decision making process was only available via phone.
HDHS chief executive officer Strephon Billinghurst said the addition of the cameras at the local hospital had the potential to save lives.
"Emergency situations can be very stressful for families of sick babies and children so the additional medical expertise is very reassuring," he said.
"In incidents involving critically ill babies and children, the condition of the patient can deteriorate very rapidly.
"Having the eyes of a specialist medical team able to remotely diagnose the patient assists with the correct care being administered and provides continuity of care if transport to a specialised ICU is required."
Mr Billinghurst thanked Grahame and Susan Mapp of the Grahame Mapp Foundation who donated the money for the cameras, and Variety - The Children's Charity which supplied the equipment.
"Staff at the hospital have embraced the new technology and we are grateful for the support of Variety - the Children's Charity and in particular the Mapp family whose donation provided the VFL cameras at HDHS," he said.
The Mapps visited the hospital on Thursday along with NETS state director Dr Andrew Barry and Telemedicine lead Graeme Still, as well as Variety head of philanthropy and strategic partnerships Penelope Sinton and donor relations manager Zoe Pike.
The visitors met with nurses and doctors and saw first-hand the impact the cameras could have on saving Hawkesbury babies.
Mr Mapp breeds racehorses and owns Hobartville Stud at Clarendon, and the Mapps' ties to the Hawkesbury span over 40 years.