Equipment assists rehabilitation

Friday, 27 December 2002

A GENEROUS donation of $40,000 from the Orange Base Hospital Ladies Auxiliary Committee and the Orange Arthritis Foundation has enabled the Physiotherapy Department and Apex Rehabilitation Unit at Orange Base Hospital to purchase a Lite-gait Harness System and Sports Art Treadmill.

The Lite-gait Harness System supports a patient's body, enabling them to practise balance and walking at an early stage in their rehabilitation.

It allows for progression of weight bearing and for the physiotherapists to assist the legs and pelvis to achieve a proper gait pattern.

The Sports Art Treadmill can be used with and without the Harness System and can move at slow speeds, which is essential for rehabilitation patients.

Senior rehabilitation physiotherapist Kerstin McPherson said the Physiotherapy Department was excited about the arrival of the Lite-gait and Treadmill.

"It is used extensively in rehabilitation units in Sydney and we are the first rehabilitation unit in the Mid Western Health Area and one of only a few country hospitals with the system," Ms McPherson said.

"The Lite-gait and Treadmill will enable patients to practise standing and walking earlier and will mean a potentially earlier discharge from hospital.

The conditions the Lite-gait and Treadmill can be used for include strokes, post operative hip fractures, amputees and spinal cord injuries.

With the experienced physiotherapy staff at Orange Base Hospital we are excitedly preparing research proposals in conjunction with the University of Sydney in the treatment of stroke patients," she said.

Orange Base Hospital acting general manager Ross Noble said the purchase of the Lite-gait would provide "tremendous enhancement for rehabilitation patients".

"It is very much innovative equipment and all residents of Orange and District will benefit from it if they need rehabilitation," Mr Noble said.

"We are very grateful for the ongoing support from our volunteers, especially the Orange Base Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and the Orange Arthritis Foundation," he said.

"I'm just a dreamer who dreams of better days"