Patients in Halton, St Helens and Knowsley benefit from community nurse’s POWERWAND innovation
Patients needing intravenous (IV) medication are experiencing improved care thanks to a breakthrough by community nurse Pam McGrail.
She has become the first community nurse in the UK to offer a unique medical device called the POWERWAND at their local clinic or health centre. Until Pam began to offer this service the POWERWAND was previously only available to patients in hospital.
Pam works for the Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Halton, St Helens and Knowsley Community Intravenous Therapy Team.
The POWERWAND is manufactured by Access Scientific in the USA and distributed in the UK by pfm medical UK Ltd.
She said: “The benefits for patients are that the device can be left in place from weeks to months to deliver IV therapy but also allow blood samples to be drawn and other medications to be administered through the same line. The insertion of the device is also quicker and more comfortable for patients and, unlike a cannula, it can be inserted into the upper arm where it is less obvious and intrusive to daily life.”
Pam carries out the procedure to insert the POWERWAND using a portable ultrasound device at a clinic which is close to the patient’s home and they can then go straight home and receive IV therapy through the device for weeks to months and also have their bloods monitored.
Pam added: “We have used the device on multiple patients and have found it useful in cases where patients are prescribed therapy for more than two weeks or for those who have poor veins as it reduces the need to use needles multiple times.”
The first patients in Halton, St Helens and Knowsley to benefit from this development have reported a much improved experience.
Paul Glover, 39, from St Helens had a POWERWAND in place for nine weeks to deliver daily intravenous antibiotics and allow nurses to take blood samples.
Paul said: “Having treatment at home is much better for me than having to stay in hospital as I have four children so need to be able to go out to work. The POWERWAND is so much better than the cannulas I have had in my arm before. Not only was it able to be left in place for nine weeks after being inserted by a nurse at a local clinic, but it was placed high up on my arm so didn’t interfere at all with my work operating machinery.”
Karen Law, 51, from Runcorn has received intravenous antibiotics on several occasions, most recently via POWERWAND.
She said: “I would definitely recommend it. It is much more comfortable than before and much less mess. Previously I have had problems with catheters getting blocked and had to have them replaced but I was able to leave the POWERWAND in place for five weeks which was useful if I needed additional doses of antibiotics.”
Patricia Devine, 54, from the Knowsley area said: “I had the POWERWAND in for around five weeks and it was much more comfortable than a cannula or a PICC line which I have had before. It also meant that giving the antibiotic drip was much quicker for the nurses and it was much easier for them to take bloods even though they would normally have trouble with my veins. This was much better all round.”
pfm medical’s Clinical Educator in Vascular Access, Alan Martin, said: “Pam’s introduction of POWERWAND placement in the community is a major breakthrough.
“Patients avoid having to go to hospital for appointments, they benefit from reduced travel and reduced delays to treatment and there are low complication rates. There is no waiting at an acute hospital so there are also reduced costs to the local health economy.”
The POWERWAND is suitable for IV antibiotics, blood products and other medications that can be administered via a cannular, but not suitable for chemotherapy.
View the story on Bridgewater Community Health’s website here.
Nurse has first use of ‘unique’ IV cannula in community – Nursing Times Article