Patients who use the Somerset Lung Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital are benefiting from a new £84,000 machine that checks their lung capacity.
The VMAX machine is an important piece of equipment that is used daily to help patients across the hospital, not just those who have existing problems with their breathing. The machine was bought by the hospital’s League of Friends.
Susan Wright, chief respiratory physiologist at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “We are very grateful to the League of Friends for helping us to upgrade this important machine. “Previously we had a very old version, which was starting to show its age and kept breaking down. “The machine is used to assess people’s breathing ability, how big their lungs are, how well they work at getting oxygen into the bloodstream and if they are using all of their lungs.”
“An important part of the machine includes an exercise bike, which is linked up to a computer so we get our patients to do a bit of physical activity to see how breathless they get during exercise.”
Up to ten patients a day use the machine, varying from those who have difficulty breathing, to people with cancer whose drugs might be affecting their breathing. It also helps to assess patients who are due to go under anaesthetic.
Susan added: “We see patients from departments across the hospital and because this new machine is more efficient and reliable, we can see patients more quickly, giving them better care.”
Nigel Handbury from the League of Friends, said: “We’re really glad to be able to buy this for the department and to know it is making a difference.”