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£8.6k of revolutionary equipment will benefit recovery of stroke patients

Staff at FGH try the new Saebo equipment

[T]hanks to the generosity of local people, stroke patients in the Furness area now have access to an innovative piece of equipment that aims to improve upper limb function in patients who have suffered a neurological event, such as a stroke.

Therapists at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) are trialling the SaeboGlove at Furness General Hospital, after the successful use of the equipment at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

When a stroke occurs (a serious life-threatening medical condition when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off), an individual can experience a range of disabilities, which often includes the upper limbs. Reduced movement, strength, and tone are common in the arm, as is reduced grip and dexterity in the hand. This is caused by the disruption in the connections between the brain and body.

Phil Woodford, Associate Director of Corporate Affairs, UHMBT, said: “As a Stroke Survivor myself who suffered from left sided Hemi-paresis, the SaeboGlove which was provided as part of my rehabilitation has I believe been a large reason for why my progress in using my left hand has been successful. I’m really pleased and proud that the Trust through the generosity of the public have been able to invest in this equipment to assist the rehabilitation of not just Stroke Survivors but also for other neurological patients and some orthopaedic injuries.

The equipment cost £8,600 and was purchased thanks to donations made to Bay Hospitals Charity. It includes the SaeboFlex, which is designed to assist in the recovery of arm function and the SaeboReach which incorporates the affected elbow. The SaeboGlove assists in the positioning of the wrist and fingers into a position that encourages function and will allow the patient to work on activities such as picking up a cup. There is also a small unit which uses electrical stimulation to target specific muscles and work on function.

Eva Banister, Advanced Physiotherapist, UHMBT, said: “The Saebo equipment really benefits patients who need help to re-develop movement in their upper limb following a stroke. The patient needs to already have a little movement in their arm, hand and fingers, however, the splint supports movement and positions the wrist and fingers in preparation for activity and assists the patient to re-open the hand to release objects. The patients of Morecambe Bay are extremely lucky to have the benefit of access to this innovative equipment from an early stage in their rehabilitation.”

Lorraine Weaver, Advanced Occupational Therapist, UHMBT, added: “The SaeboGlove will give support to our patients’ upper limbs and give them more function and most importantly, it will help to motivate patients and give them more positive outcomes.”

Mary Aubrey, Director of Governance, UHMBT, concluded: “We are proud to be one of a few trusts in England that have the innovative Saebo treatment kits. This will greatly assist our stroke service in the rehabilitation of stroke patients with little upper limb movement.”

Amy Bean, Clinical Specialist Saebo UK, said: “Saebo are excited to now be able to offer teams are kit version of our SaeboGlove. The SaeboGlove’s simple design allows users to more easily get their hand involved in therapy and everyday tasks early after their stroke.”

Bay Hospitals Charity is a registered charity, raising money to improve patient care and hospital experience at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust hospitals. Everyday incredible things happen across our hospitals, but this is not without cost. By donating to Bay Hospitals Charity you can fund the latest equipment and help make your local hospitals more comfortable, ensuring you get the best possible care and treatment.

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