‘Staying local’ saves lives in Queensland

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Treating patients locally is saving hundreds of lives – that’s the lesson learned by a Queensland hospital celebrating the fifth anniversary of its specialist cardiac facility.

Nearly 4,500 life-critical heart procedures have been performed at the Friendly Society Private Hospital’s cath lab since it opened in November 2012.

“It is very humbling to know that by bringing this service to Bundaberg we have saved hundreds of lives,” CEO Alan Cooper said. “We know not all of these patients would have survived a trip to Brisbane.”

Cardiologists such as Dr Andre Conradie and Dr Hermann Wittmer perform diagnostic and interventional procedures at the cath lab, which the hospital says is the only facility of its kind between the Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

“We have been able to extend the service to offer acute cardiac care, and it means we can offer it in a timely fashion,” Dr Conradie said.

“We can see the results of this service because we see we are saving lives. This service is available all the time – we don’t have to worry about bad weather and not being able to fly patients out anymore.”

With the theatre now delivering more than 1,000 cardiac procedures every year, Mr Cooper says the not-for-profit hospital is developing plans to open a second hybrid cath lab.

It will offer both cardiac and vascular treatment, he says, and will be backed by the hospital’s charity fundraising arm, The Friendlies Foundation.

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