Riders buy diagnostic tools

PATIENTS with heart disease throughout the Far North will be monitored with the latest technology, thanks to hundreds of cyclists riding to Cooktown in 2019.
A paediatric cardiac ultrasound worth $93,000 and cardiac monitors worth $150,000 have been purchased with funds raised from the 2019 Cardiac Challenge. In total, the 2019 event raised over $318,000.
Cairns Hospital paediatric cardiologist Dr Ben Reeves said his new ultrasound was much lighter and easier to transport, particularly when he visits remote communities throughout the Far North.
“All the new one needs is a power point and we can get some fantastic imagery for monitoring child patients,” Dr Reeves said. He is the only paediatric cardiologist in north Queensland and his role is vital in diagnosing and treating Rheumatic Heart Disease and other cardiac conditions in children.
“I have already noticed a big improvement in the quality of images I can achieve with the new machine, which puts it really at the same level as my machine at Cairns Hospital. This means children in remote communities get the same quality care as people in the big cities,” Dr Reeves said.
Cairns Hospital Director of Cardiology Dr Greg Starmer is equally thrilled with the 55 new ambulatory cardiac monitors purchased from the 2019 fundraising event.
While the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health service had cardiac monitors before, the new ones integrate with digital technology, have a much smaller footprint, are very intuitive and extremely quick to obtain data from. “The previous monitors could take up to two hours to interpret the data we need, but the new ones take five or 10 minutes, which is great from an efficiency point of view,” Dr Starmer said.
Ambulatory cardiac monitors are used to diagnose patients with suspected arrythmias and can be worn for up to seven days while a patient goes about their daily lives.
“These will be used not just in Cairns but throughout the Torres and Cape communities as well, which is wonderful for cardiac patients in those areas. It means we can look at the data and is less of an imposition on their lives in terms of having to travel to Cairns for diagnosis,” he said. Dr Starmer was one of the Cardiac Maniacs who rode in the 2019 event.
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is delighted to announce the fundraising ride for 2020 has proudly partnered with QSuper.
The QSuper Cardiac Challenge is a fundraising initiative of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation. Since inception 14 years ago, the Cardiac Challenge has raised almost $3.5 million for cardiac services in the Far North. Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe was excited to see almost $250,000 worth of equipment handed over to clinicians to help patients. “The QSuper Cardiac Challenge really is famous, not only for what people can achieve by riding their bikes, but by the difference it makes to people with heart disease in our region,” Ms Duncombe said.
The 2020 QSuper Cardiac Challenge will be held September 19-21. Registrations are open HERE.