By BELINDA SCOTT
SEEING $750,000 worth of intensive care is a sobering experience. It represents not only technology that looks capable of piloting a jumbo jet, but a heavyweight medical team.
Coffs Harbour Health Campus has just received this amount of funding for a fourth ventilator bed, which provides support for patients unable to breathe unaided.
Now the hospital is looking for nurses to staff the bed. Each bed requires the equivalent of four-and-a-half nurses to cope with the 24 hour one-on-one nursing required by ICU ventilator patients plus allowances for holidays.
Coffs Harbour cares for an average of 73 ICU patients a month with an average stay of six days.
Of those about 15 patients a month require ventilation, a rise of 40 per cent in ventilat- ed hours compared to two years ago.
ANZ Bank, Bunnings and AMCAL pharmacies are currently supporting an Intensive Care Appeal, selling wristbands to raise money for intensive care research.
ICU medical director Dr Michael Sutherland, Coffs Harbour Hospital's 'solo' intensive care specialist, said the ICU had recently joined these research trials conducted as part of the program.