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Clicks opens pharmacy front shops in Netcare hospitals.
Wednesday, February 1 2017

Netcare is bringing you more convenience by introducing Clicks stores at each pharmacy located in Netcare Hospitals countrywide.

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Netcare celebrates 20th anniversary

Netcare celebrated the 20th anniversary

Friday, December 9 2016


On 6 December, Netcare celebrated the 20th anniversary of the company’s listing on the main board of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE).  
Since then, Netcare has grown from five hospitals in South Africa into a leading private healthcare provider with 114 hospitals in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Lesotho as well as operations  in Mozambique.   

Netcare 911 was founded in 1998 and, with 85 bases countrywide, is now the largest pre-hospital emergency services provider in SA. In addition, National Renal Care is the largest private provider of dialysis services in SA, with 796 renal dialysis stations in 62 dialysis units. Netcare also has 88 Medicross primary healthcare centres and 14 day clinics, 87 pharmacies, five public private partnerships and seven oncology centres throughout SA.  

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New Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital officially launched

Building on South African medical heritage, state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary facility looks to the future

Tuesday, December 6 2016

The Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital yesterday opened its doors to patients in its new home, a custom-designed 16-storey facility on Cape Town’s foreshore incorporating state-of-the-art medical technology.

“With the opening, our vision of a world class healthcare facility reflecting the spirit of excellence, innovation and sanctity of life cherished by the hospital’s namesake, Professor Christiaan Barnard, became a reality. We look forward to this new chapter in the hospital’s unfolding story, which has thus far been rich in leading-edge medical advances,” says Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare.

The hospital’s official launch was celebrated on Saturday, 3 December 2016, to coincide with the 49th anniversary of the world’s first human heart transplant, and tribute was paid to this historic moment in world medicine at the event.

The launch was attended by a number of dignitaries including the MEC for Health in the Western Cape, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Cape Town deputy mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, members of the late Professor Barnard’s family, and surviving members of the first human heart transplant team, among others.

MEC Mbombo and the deputy chairperson of the Netcare board of directors, Thevendrie Brewer, unveiled a plaque dedicated to the memory of Professor Barnard in the hospital foyer. The plaque reads: “Professor Christiaan Barnard achieved international fame for expanding the boundaries of medicine. Barnard was not only committed to furthering medical science, he was also deeply committed to patient care. In this exhibition Netcare honours Barnard the man, and pays tribute to the principles he stood for: science in service of humanity, and patient care in service of the individual. This exhibition is also for all the unsung champions of the healthcare profession. Those who dedicate their lives to these principles; serving the health and wellbeing of the individual to make our world a better place.”

Events leading up to the first heart transplantation are also acknowledged in the artwork and artefacts on display throughout the hospital, as is the work of the team who assisted with it.
“The broader role of Mr Hamilton Naki, an uneducated man with extraordinary surgical skills, was at the time hidden from the limelight due to the exclusionary policies of the apartheid regime. We have sought to give Mr Naki the appropriate recognition through the narrative of the hospital’s artwork,” Dr Friedland noted.
“It is our firm belief that the pioneering spirit and medical endeavours for which Professor Barnard is remembered will be carried forward at the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” he added.


Unveiling the plaque at the official launch of the new Netcare Christiaan Memorial Hospital are, from left to right: Armin Barnard, Deirdre Visser, the deputy chairperson of the Netcare board of directors, Thevendrie Brewer; the Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo; Lara Barnard, Christiaan Barnard, Karin Berman and Netcare CEO, Dr Richard Friedland.

 

The contribution of those surviving members of the team involved in the first transplant was recognised at the event with the awarding of the Christiaan Barnard Gold Medal to Dr Cecil Moss, Tollie Lambrechts, Georgie de Klerk and Dene Friedman.

A fifth member of the team, Dr Joseph Ozinsky, was sadly not well enough to attend the event and the award was accepted on his behalf by his son, Max Ozinsky. The Christiaan Barnard Gold Medal was also posthumously awarded to Mr Hamilton Naki, and was accepted by his son, Sizwe Naki.

One striking feature on display in the new hospital is Marco Cianfanelli’s sculpture, Threshold, which is suspended from the roof in the foyer. At the official launch, Cianfanelli described how his sculpture captures the moment when Louis Washkansky, the recipient of the donor heart, had his ailing heart removed and Professor Barnard stared into the empty chest cavity of a living patient.

Cianfanelli also created a large portrait of Professor Barnard which also contains a collage of many portraits of Barnard which were painted by patients of his and sent to him as a sign of their gratitude.

“Ultimately, the sculpture is an impactful expression of hope, the potential for recovery, and the systems of support that allow for healing to occur,” Cianfanelli explained.
Dr Friedland thanked all of the stakeholders who have so hard worked to breathe life into the dream of developing the healthcare facility to world class standards. “As we welcome patients to this new centre of healing, the legacy of Professor Barnard and other medical pioneers will live on through the care and hope that that our hospital represents to them,” he concluded.
 

Ends
Issued by:    MNA on behalf of Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or pieter@mnapr.co.za

 

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New hospital a living tribute to South African heart pioneer, Christiaan Barnard

Art installation and other exhibits reflect spirit of his and other medical pioneers’ remarkable endeavours

Friday, November 25 2016

On 3 December 2016, the 49th anniversary of the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital will embark on a new phase in its history as it officially launches a new state-of-the-art purpose-built facility situated on the Cape Town foreshore.

“Professor Christiaan Barnard achieved in medical history the equivalent of man’s first landing on the moon,” says Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare.

“In the history of medicine and surgery, the first heart transplant, which has since become a commonplace procedure, will always be recognised as one of the seminal pioneering surgical innovations of all time.”

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of the opening of the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Friedland said the new purpose built hospital is intended to be a living tribute, not only to the late Professor Barnard, but also to other pioneers of important medical innovations in South Africa, as well as to acknowledge the hope offered by modern medicine to patients the world over.

“The development of the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital represented the ideal opportunity to celebrate Professor Barnard’s incredible medical feat while recognising the very painful backdrop of the shameful and exclusionary apartheid system at the time of his achievement,” he noted.

According to Friedland, given the prominent landmark position of the hospital on the Cape Town foreshore, close to the ICCC and highly visible from the highway, the development presented a unique opportunity to contribute to this iconic urban landscape. “We saw this as an interesting challenge to perpetuate the legacy of Professor Barnard in a modern and highly specialised multi-disciplinary hospital dedicated to optimising the treatment and care of patients,” Friedland explains.

Netcare approached acclaimed artist, Marco Cianfanelli and the late Jeremy Rose, who will always be remembered as the architect behind some of South Africa’s most famous museums, heritage and public art projects. Their brief was to create a world-class legacy project with an international, timeless quality, which enhanced the overall look and feel of the hospital without compromising its functionality.  The position and height of the hospital, its view of the city, mountains and harbour, had to be taken into account while optimising the abundance of natural light to improve patients’ wellbeing and overall hospital experience.

Friedland stated that Professor Barnard’s legacy of excellence and innovation in South African medicine lives on at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, where world-class specialists continue to achieve ‘firsts’ in medical advancements supported by cutting-edge medical technology to optimise clinical outcomes for patients.

“The rich legacy of Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital and its historical place in the world of medicine includes, among others, robotic cardiac procedures for the treatment of heart arrhythmia, da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery used for the treatment of prostate, bladder and kidney cancers, as well as the HeartWare ventricular assist device (HVAD) and Berlin Heart device that are implanted to help restore circulatory function in patients with severely compromised heart function, who are awaiting heart transplantation,” he added.

Friedland said: “We were not seeking to create a museum, as that already exists at Groote Schuur, but rather a subtle, sophisticated and nuanced recognition of the first heart transplant and other medical innovations, whilst acknowledging the irony that this global clinical milestone occurred in the context of a backward and exclusionary political system.
“In understanding the wider context of apartheid and the times of the 1960s, the exhibition speaks to human potential, determination and hope in the face of injustice and perceived impossibility.”

“We had to, at all times, take cognisance that a hospital is a place of healing and care, as well as being an environment that may evoke feelings of vulnerability and anxiety in patients and their loved ones. Broader themes of compassion, care, and the importance of treating people with dignity and respect, are illustrated through graphics, quotations and exhibits throughout the hospital.
One of the most captivating works of art on display in the hospital is Marco Cianfanelli’s sculpture, Threshold, which is suspended from the roof in the foyer. This imposing work of art captures the moment that Louis Washkansky’s heart was removed and Professor Barnard stared into an empty, living human chest cavity. Barnard saw potential, hope, faith and perseverance. He later recalled, “At that moment, the full impact of what I was doing hit me”.

It was this notion that inspired Marco Cianfanelli's sculpture - an archway, the threshold where the arrangement of linear profiles represent the incremental expansion of the moment in time where the impossible suddenly becomes possible.

“The sculpture pays homage to the physicians whose dedication to the care of their patients has seen the invention and implementation of technologies that allow for lifesaving procedures to be performed, and recovery to be intently monitored and analysed,” says Cianfanelli. “The gentle ripples in the plywood structure also suggest the waning of one source of energy, and simultaneously the latent potential of another. Ultimately, the sculpture expresses hope, the potential for recovery, and the systems of support that allow for healing to occur.”

The hospital carries this theme further with a series of exhibits within the central core of the building. The exhibits are on the sea-facing and mountain-facing windows of the lift lobbies from the ninth to the sixteenth floors, with each floor carrying a variation on the central theme. The design also incorporates glass cabinets with original artefacts on display.

“Professor Christiaan Barnard achieved international fame for expanding the boundaries of medicine. He was not only committed to furthering medical science, he was also deeply committed to patient care. With the exhibition Netcare honours Barnard the man, and pays tribute to the principles he stood for: science in service of humanity, and patient care in service of the individual.”

While commemorating Professor Barnard, the displays in the hospital recognise other notable medical practitioners and healthcare innovations. “The exhibition is also for all the unsung champions of the healthcare profession. Those who dedicate their lives to these principles; serving the health and wellbeing of the individual to make our world a better place,” explains Friedland.

Keeping to Netcare's commitment to the Barnard family in honouring the achievements of Professor Barnard, prescribes that the exhibits describe the enormous significance of what he achieved, the role that his team played in his success, but also very importantly give an account of, and acknowledge, the damaging and negative socio-political context in which they practiced.

The artwork and displays should inspire in patients and visitors, a sense of confidence that they are being attended to by medical practitioners whose practice is rooted in a legacy of excellence.
“State-of-the-art, contemporary and optimally functional, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital represents a unique opportunity to honour Netcare’s commitment to commemorate the extraordinary achievement that was the world's first human heart transplant, and the man who pioneered this ground-breaking technique. The dedicated and trusted team of professionals who supported him, some of whom continue their practice to this day, are an integral part of this history, and many superb insights come from their recollections of the event,” says Friedland.

The complexity of perpetuating Barnard’s legacy in a state-of-the-art designed, multi-disciplinary hospital requires that the exhibition spaces are contemporary in their aesthetic, and are harmoniously integrated into the working spaces of the hospital.

“It was Netcare’s vision to develop a world-class healthcare facility that reflects the excellence, innovation and sanctity of life that is synonymous with the legacy of the hospital’s namesake. It is our desire that the medical endeavours, pioneering spirit and dedicated focus on patient care for which Professor Barnard is remembered will be carried forward within the walls of the brand new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” Friedland concludes.

Ends

Issued by:    MNA on behalf of Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or pieter@mnapr.co.za

•    More about the artist

Marco Cianfanelli was born in Johannesburg in 1970 and graduated with a distinction in Fine Art from the University of the Witwatersrand. He has won numerous awards, including the ABSA L’Atelier and Ampersand Fellowship. Cianfanelli is renowned for his bold public art pieces and large sculptural works.

He was a member of the design team for Freedom Park, South Africa’s national monument to freedom, and his fragmented portrait sculpture, Release, forms the centrepiece of the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in KwaZulu-Natal. Cianfanelli’s large-scale public works can be seen in South Africa, the Middle East and the United States. His artworks can be found in public and private collections across the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

 

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New hospital is first step in establishing a comprehensive, first of its kind medical precinct in South Africa

The opening of the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

Thursday, November 24 2016

The opening of the new flagship Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital is the first phase of a development that will culminate in the establishment of a world class medical precinct and centre of excellence, the first of its kind in South Africa, offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary medical, emergency, diagnostic and rehabilitative services.  

For over three decades, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital has provided outstanding service to the people of Cape Town and surrounding areas, as well as patients from other African countries, with distinction.

In July 2007, Netcare initiated a feasibility study to determine whether the oldest private hospital in Cape Town, with its impressive history of medical firsts and distinguished legacy including some 200 heart transplants, should be renovated or relocated. However, it became clear that renovating the old hospital would present considerable challenges.

The building housing the hospital was originally built in 1969 as a commercial building and parking garage, before it was converted and opened as City Park Hospital in 1983. The study indicated that renovating the 17-storey structure while running the hospital efficiently would have posed many logistical difficulties, as well as considerable inconvenience for patients, doctors, visitors and staff members.

“A comprehensive building audit revealed that the cost of renovation would be 95% of the projected cost of developing a new, purpose-built hospital. And so, by November 2009, a decision was taken to locate the hospital, and the search started for the location that would become the home of the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” remembers Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare.

“In true Netcare style, selecting a new site was an inclusive process, involving extensive market research and consultation with patients, doctors and staff members. After evaluating 32 different sites, the final choice of location was the geographically desirable foreshore. The ideal site was eventually identified as the corner of Rue Bartholemeu Dias Plain and DF Malan Street, then a dusty and unused parking lot.

“Building in the central business district of Cape Town presented challenges of its own but, fortunately, the design principles underpinning the construction of the new building were centred around flexibility and enabling growth. This meant that the hospital would not only be designed to readily accommodate expansion over time, but that its infrastructure would be able to accommodate state-of-the-art technology, such as robotic theatre equipment,” adds Friedland.

Construction so near to the waterfront and harbour required the services of specialist consultants; aviation consultants assisted with the incorporation of a helistop on the roof of the facility, while marine consultants had to find solutions for the problem of the new hospital obscuring the Cape Town harbour navigation leading lights from ships at sea. This necessitated a new light tower to be erected in the harbour, and the height of the port navigation light on the municipal building to be increased.

Construction of the new hospital building began in June 2013, the commissioning of the hospital commenced in July 2016 and was concluded in November 2016.

“At opening on Monday, 5 December 2016, the 16-storey building, which has a total floor space of approximately 30 000m2, will comprise 248 beds, of which of 61 will be intensive care and high care beds. There are 11 theatres, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical, surgical and paediatric wards, a maternity unit incorporating delivery rooms, a dedicated caesarean theatre and neonatal ICU, as well as doctors’ consulting rooms and eight floors offering public parking,” says Friedland.

In addition to incorporating sophisticated green principles and technology in the design of the hospital, other key elements revolved around optimising patient safety.

“The building has been designed to international safety standards, for example in terms of fire safety specifications and the ability to withstand earthquakes. With the worldwide increase in antibiotic resistance, we have also placed considerable emphasis on infection prevention and control, which is evidenced in the inclusion of design elements such as glass partitioning between beds to help prevent the spread of infections.

The hospital will accommodate a full spectrum of medical disciplines including cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, gynaecology and obstetrics, internal medicine, reproductive medicine, paediatrics, nuclear medicine, radiology and interventional radiology, urology and robotic-assisted surgery for prostate, kidney and bladder cancer.

 

Future expansions
He added that pockets of areas totalling 5 000m2 have been specifically designed on a number of floors within the hospital for future expansion of beds and other services, and that the building has the capacity to accommodate up to 375 beds in future.

“Provision has also been made for the construction of a radiation therapy bunker in the basement with state-of-the-art equipment to provide the latest radiation oncology treatment to cancer patients. This new facility will form part of the next phase of development,” Friedland explains.

The adjacent building, once occupied by Chevron, will be converted into a medical facility and incorporated into the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. It will house a day clinic, a sub-acute facility, a dialysis centre managed by National Renal Care, pathology laboratories, a Medicross family medical and dental centre, and facilities for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other healthcare practitioners.

Investing in the City of Cape Town
The new hospital facility represents a considerable investment by Netcare in the City of Cape Town and it is envisaged that the scope of the new development will lead to the creation of a number of new job opportunities. The hospital is one of a number of new developments planned for the foreshore over the next five to 10 years, which is set to completely revitalise the area and stimulate the same dynamic character of the rest of the inner city.

“It was Netcare’s vision to develop a world class healthcare facility that reflects the excellence, innovation and sanctity of life that is synonymous with the legacy of the hospital’s namesake, Professor Christiaan Barnard. It is our belief that the medical endeavours and pioneering spirit for which he is remembered will be carried forward at the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” Friedland concludes.

Fast facts

 

 

Ends

Issued by:    MNA on behalf of Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or pieter@mnapr.co.za

 

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The dangers of distracted parenting

Being absorbed in technology can divert attention from responsible child supervision

Tuesday, September 20 2016

As any parent knows, childcare is a full-time job because children are inherently curious and extremely energetic. To keep them from mischief and out of harm’s way, adults taking care of children have to be alert at all times, while constantly assessing the surrounding environment.

“Mobile technology, such as cellphones and tablets, are extremely attention-intensive and are increasingly becoming an ever-present part of everyday life. Many people have their cellphone within reach 24 hours a day, and may become so absorbed in it, that it detracts their attention from whatever else they are doing at the time,” cautions Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment.

“Young children can very quickly get themselves into dangerous situations if they are not closely supervised. Research in America has, for example, indicated a 10% increase in unintentional childhood injuries since the introduction of the iPhone, and every preventable injury is one too many.”

“Distracted parenting is without doubt becoming more prevalent and presents a very real threat, as parents engrossed in using their smartphones, tablets or laptops may well neglect to look out for their youngsters’ safety, albeit unintentionally. For this reason, we caution anyone caring for children to be vigilant in order to prevent accidents from happening as a result of their attention being diverted from the children.”

Studies have furthermore suggested that parents who believe that they are only on their cellphones for a few seconds at a time, are often absorbed for more than three minutes at a stretch without taking their eyes off the device.

“Just imagine the potential trouble young children could get themselves into in just three minutes while their parents are distracted. Within the home environment alone, an unsupervised child may get their hands on poisonous cleaning products, burn themselves on a hot stove, fall down a flight of stairs, start playing with a sharp knife, or fall in the swimming pool and drown. In Netcare emergency departments, we see on a daily basis how many different types of injuries children can suffer – in particular when they are not closely supervised,” Toubkin notes.

“We are increasingly seeing the growing use of hand-held devices as a factor that has exacerbated the injury rates for young children, including burns, falls and near drowning, to name just a few.

“Distracted parents may become distracted drivers or pedestrians who are not mindful of their children’s best interests. We would like to see greater awareness around distracted parenting. In fact, we believe that it should be elevated to a similar level of public concern as drinking and driving.”

US paediatrician, Dr Jenny Radesky, observed 55 groups of parents and young children eating at fast food restaurants and recorded how often the adults used their smartphones during the meal. The evidence was sobering. Of the 40 caregivers who took out their phones during the meal, about 40% spent the entire meal swiping, texting and paying very little attention to the children in their care.

“Often when a person chokes, for example, it happens silently because the individual cannot cry out to attract attention. Precious, lifesaving moments may be lost if a caregiver is not quick to notice such incidents.”

A New York social experiment observed 50 caregiver-child pairs at various playgrounds and found that 74% of the caregivers were distracted during the two-minute playground sessions. The use of an electronic device accounted for 30% of the distractions, followed by caregivers being distracted by talking with other adults, eating, drinking or reading.

“Children were found to be more likely to engage in dangerous behaviours — such as throwing sand, walking up a slide, sliding down head first and jumping off moving swings – when their caregivers are distracted,” Toubkin observes.

“Cellphones are a prime source of distraction. When a parent gets an urgent work phone call, for example, their minds may be so occupied that they forget to keep a watchful eye on their child without consciously realising it. Unfortunately, a few minutes are all it takes for a tragic accident to occur. In order to help prevent such injuries, the Netcare trauma injury prevention programme, run by Netcare Milpark and Netcare Union hospitals, has distracted parenting as the topic of one of their strategic teaching sessions.

“We are appealing to people who have children in their care to be alert to the dangers of distracted parenting, and maintain their vigilance with regard to child safety, as there could not possibly be anything on your cellphone or tablet that is more important than the wellbeing of a child. Distracted child care is not child care,” she concludes.

Seven suggestions to help prevent accidents as a result of distracted parenting:

  1. Recognise the dangers of distracted parenting, and ask yourself whether you are letting mobile technology divert your attention from supervising your child in a responsible way.
  2. Get up earlier and use the time to check emails and messages before waking your children, so that you can give them the necessary attention when they are up and about.
  3. Keep meals and ‘quality time’ free of any technology: Make a point of not using electronic devices during meals.
  4. Do not get distracted by your phone at all if you are keeping an eye on children anywhere near water, including a swimming pool, bath tub or fish pond.
  5. If you must take a phone call while caring for a child, keep within arm’s reach of the child and watch them closely.
  6. Never check or use your phone while driving – especially when there are children in the car.
  7. If there is a need to keep your device on whilst spending time with your children, explain the reason to them. This will also help you to self-monitor whether it really is necessary to remain ‘connected’ during that period of time.
  8. If you want to use your phone, rather use it to take photographs of your child. They grow up so quickly, and it is important to preserve memories of the good times spend together.

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Issued by:          Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact :           Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:        (011) 469 3016
Email:               martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or pieter@mnapr.co.za

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Four-year-old recovering well after near drowning experience

Mother demonstrates the importance of first aid and CPR

Monday, September 12 2016

Four-year-old Ulrich Jacobs is the epitome of a happy, healthy little toddler. So much so, that it is almost impossible to believe that he was on the verge of death just over a month ago.

On 16 July, the Jacobs family was enjoying a relaxing Saturday at an outdoor event when the unspeakable happened. The body of their son, Ulrich, was found floating in a nearby dam. Fortunately, Ulrich’s mother, a nurse with first aid training, was able to administer life-saving rescue breaths within minutes.

“It only took a second for me to run to my child, but it felt like a lifetime,” recalls Jahnine Jacobs.  In a desperate attempt to save Ulrich’s life, she immediately commenced CPR. With every breath she gave him, a burst of water exited Ulrich’s lungs and mouth.

“Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is a resuscitation technique that mimics the action of the heartbeat and breathing. It maintains the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, preventing brain damage when the heart stops beating,” Netcare 911’s general manager of national operations, Shalen Ramduth, explains. He asserts that knowing how to perform CPR correctly is an absolute must, especially for parents and caregivers, as it can literally mean the difference between life and death.

While his mother continued CPR, for what seemed like an eternity, Ulrich started crying. This was a good sign as it indicated that he was breathing again. His parents rushed him to hospital immediately phoning Netcare 911 en route.

When Netcare 911 paramedics, Marius Fouché and Jeffrey Lekhuleni met the family on the way to the hospital they were presented with a barely conscious Ulrich by his father, Ettiene.

En route to the hospital in the ambulance, Ulrich’s heart stopped beating again and CPR was re-initiated. The Netcare 911 team stabilised him in the ambulance. Ulrich’s condition was serious.

He was admitted to hospital in Nelspruit but was later airlifted by the Netcare 911 helicopter to Netcare Garden City Hospital’s renowned specialised drowning unit for children, under the care of paediatric intensivist, Dr Myles Bartlett. He remained in hospital for just over a month. After he returned to school, his teacher mentioned how impressed she was by his quick recovery and said that Ulrich is excelling in his schoolwork.

Ulrich has come a long way since his life-threatening ordeal and has recovered remarkably. Fortunately, all he recalls of the fateful day is that he swallowed lots of water. Other than that, he seems almost none the wiser about the near tragic events of the day.

“Ulrich’s story is a testament to the importance of knowing CPR and first aid. Always be vigilant near water, especially when children are around. Furthermore, it is important to note that it is not only the sea and swimming pools that can pose danger. Any water mass can potentially be dangerous to young children, even something as harmless as a shallow bathtub or bucket of water. A child can drown in a few centimetres of water; that is all it takes,” cautions Ramduth.

Netcare 911’s handy tips that may prevent a drowning:

  •  Never go swimming alone.
  • Never leave a child unattended near water.
  • If you have a pool, make sure that the pool in fenced off and covered with a safety net.
  • Never dive into water if you do not know how deep it is.
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you are at the beach, always swim between the beacons set up by the lifeguards for your protection.
  • Always adhere to the rules imposed by the lifeguards, as they are there to keep you safe.

What to do in an emergency
The first priority is to get the victim out of the water. Make sure it is safe to enter the water. Do not become a victim yourself. If the victim is struggling, give him or her something to hold on to, such as a branch or a floatation device. Remember that someone who is panicking can drag the person trying to help him or her into danger too.

Handle the victim with care to avoid aggravating a potential neck or back injury. Many people are injured while diving head first into water without having checked the depth of the water or whether there are submerged rocks.

If you are with other people, have someone call emergency medical services for help. Memorise the number of the emergency medical services in your area, save it on your cell phone and keep it written down next to your telephone.

You can contact Netcare 911 on 082 911 from anywhere in the country and provide the call taker with your exact location as well as a contact number. Do not hang up until the call taker tells you that you can end the call.

 

Ends

Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, meggan@mnapr.co.za or pieter@mnapr.co.za

 

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Intricate operation launched to rescue and bring man to safety

Emergency team uses construction crane to lower injured patient 50 metres

Thursday, August 11 2016

A construction crane was used by emergency medical personnel to rescue a critically injured man after he fell approximately three metres from scaffolding onto a concrete slab about 50 metres above the ground at a construction site at the Pavilion in Durban, says emergency services provider Netcare 911.

According to Gary Paul, Netcare 911’s regional operations manager, KwaZulu-Natal, and clinical head, Coastal, a tricky one-hour operation involving a high-angle rescue with the aid of a construction crane, was used to bring the man to safety.

“Netcare 911 paramedics responded to a call for assistance regarding an industrial accident in Westville on Saturday afternoon,” says Paul. “When our team arrived on scene the patient was lying the equivalent of some 16 storeys above ground level and there were no stairs or easy means of getting him safely down from the building.

“The paramedics also had to take into account the fact that the patient’s spine may have been damaged during his fall and therefore did not want to move him unnecessarily.

“They went about immediately stabilising the accident victim. However, realising that a high angle rescue system would be necessary to bring the patient down to the ground level they decided to call for the urgent assistance of Netcare 911’s rescue team, Rescue 2, to assist in the medical evacuation,” relates Paul.

He says that the Rescue 2 rescue officer was on-scene within minutes, and was able to safely secure the injured, but by now stabilised, patient into a specialised rescue stretcher called a Stokes basket. The ever-resourceful Netcare 911 team elicited the assistance of on-site construction personnel and a construction crane in order to bring the patient safely down to the waiting ambulance.

“They attached the Stokes basket to the crane cable and carefully lowered the patient and accompanying rescue officer to the ground, where an ambulance was waiting. The injured man was immediately transported to hospital in a stable condition under the care of an advanced life support paramedic, for further medical care.

For Paul, the case illustrates the importance of emergency and other parties involved, such as the construction crew, working together to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.

“Everyone played a critical role, from the paramedics who first arrived on scene to the Rescue 2 team and the construction crew. They all deserve the highest praise for how they dealt with this difficult, potentially life-threatening situation.

“The incident also highlights the lifesaving benefits that the Netcare 911 Rescue 2 team, which is offered as a special community service to the people of KwaZulu-Natal, can bring to so many emergency situations.”

Paul explains that Rescue 2 and Rescue 1, which is a similar Netcare 911 service that operates in Gauteng province, are Netcare 911 social responsibility projects operated as a special service to the community to assist at major emergencies over large geographical areas.

“The personnel that operate the rescue vehicles are Netcare 911 paramedics who have been provided with special training in a number of rescue services. Their rescue vehicles offer excellent all-round terrain capabilities and carry a range of rescue gear that equips the crew for many different situations. In this case, they were able to provide special stretcher and safety equipment to lower the patient, and also effectively organise the rescue.”

“The rescue service concept itself has been in existence for more than a decade at Netcare 911 and has evolved from a safety and incident management unit with basic rescue capability into its current, more specialised operation,” adds Paul.

“Rescue 2 has assisted at numerous emergency scenes in KwaZulu-Natal and has helped save many lives, showing what can be achieved by a small team of dedicated, highly motivated and well-trained paramedics who are working for the good of the community,” he concludes.

Ends

Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney and Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za and meggan@mnapr.co.za

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Netcare 911 embraces ‘green’ technology

At Netcare911, we are committed to conducting our operations in a manner that will sustain environmental and human health

Thursday, July 28 2016

At Netcare911, we are committed to conducting our operations in a manner that will sustain environmental and human health. We are working towards reducing our environmental impact in the face of the threats of global climate change and the depletion of natural resources, to do our part in ensuring that future generations can continue to meet their needs.

 

Green features at Netcare 911’s head office

 

Energy efficient lighting and motion sensors

We have installed an energy efficient lighting system. Motion sensors detect the movement of people; automatically turning off lights in unoccupied areas and turning on lights when there are people in an area.

 

Solar photo voltaic (PV) roof system uses natural resources to generate electricity

A solar PV system has been installed on the roof of our building to generate inexpensive, green electricity from sunlight. The PV cells capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, even generating some electricity when it’s cloudy.

 

Self-watering car wash bay

We collect and use the water generated by air conditioning condensation at our building to wash our fleet of vehicles, in a bid to save our country’s scarce water resource.

 

Our vehicle fleet’s green features

 

BlueMotion technology reduces carbon dioxide emissions

According to reports, vehicles with BlueMotion technology can deliver a 10% reduction in fuel and emissions. The vehicles in our fleet have, amongst other features, stop-start technology  which switches off the engine when the vehicle stops and restarts it when the brake pedal is released (for automatic vehicles) or the clutch is engaged (for manual vehicles). This reduces fuel consumption and the impact of our vehicles on the environment.

 

Netcare 911 will continue to embrace appropriate green technology to help save our precious earth.

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Netcare 911 extends its footprint in Mozambique

Netcare 911 extends its footprint in Mozambique

Friday, July 1 2016

“Netcare 911 welcomes the opening of the Nhamacunda Clinic as the fulfi llment of the Sasol Petroleum Temane tender for operating this clinic represents an important step forward in our commitment to providing world-class medical services to companies and people outside of South Africa”.


“It is our honour to assist the SPT staff and their families, as well as members of the public, through offering a range of quality health services in this picturesque yet remote location.”  Noeleen Phillipson, managing director of Netcare 911


The awarding of a tender to provide private medical care for Sasol Petroleum Temane (SPT) employees and paid-for services to other members of the community recently saw the opening of a SOS Netcare 911 clinic in the Mozambican coastal town of Vilanculos. The Nhamacunda Clinic, which is located in Nhamacunda Village where SPT’s employees reside, offers comprehensive general practitioner and dental services, as well as occupational health assessments. The clinic opened its doors in March, bringing a range of new services to the town, including pathology and radiology services, and a dispensary. The facility comes equipped with two wards comprising six beds for patients requiring observation and overnight stays. Doctors and staff at the clinic are drawn from South Africa and Mozambique, while a number of employment opportunities for local community members were created with the opening of the facility. SPT employees and the public are able to access vaccinations and prophylaxis at the clinic, as well as ultrasound scans, X-rays and occupational health assessments including audiometry, spirometry and electrocardiography (ECG) in a modern setting. The clinic also offers first aid training by arrangement, so that members of the public can learn the basics of dealing with medical emergencies. Emergency medicine in the area also received a welcome boost with the introduction of Netcare 911 ambulance services and a 24-hour emergency room. The clinic’s in-patient services are intended for medical emergencies only, so that patients can be stabilised and receive short-term care while medical emergency road or air evacuation to an appropriate facility is arranged for further defined treatment

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