Defibrillator Donations

Heart starter a life saver.

By Caitlyn Morgan - compliments of Sunraysia Daily 14.3.18

This week Mallee Accommodation and Support Program (MASP) became the 38th recipient of a defibrillator from

Mildura Cardiology.

It 's been a decade since Mildura Cardiology first donated a defibrillator to a community group and in that time two lives

have been saved.

Mildura Cardiology cardiologist Dr Alan Soward said Mildura Cardiology had provided many organisations with

defibrillators, including all Sunraysia Football and Netball League and Millewa Football League clubs.

"There have been tragic deaths in the sporting community with young people dying unexpectedly, so we thought if we

can donate these to the sports clubs, it would make a big difference to the community" Dr Soward said.

"These devices can save lives. If a person has a cardiac arrest they can restore normal heart rhythm".

"There is also the opportunity to find out what the heart problem is that led to the cardiac arrest, this information can

prevent it from happening again".

Dr Soward said the devices were fairly simple to use and no training was required, but with each device donated the

staff at Mildura Cardiology had provided instruction. "It all started off by wanting to do something for the community

and defibrillators were only just starting to appear in public locations" Dr Soward said.

"After we donated them to the sporting clubs it was well received, we expanded the donations to other sporting clubs,

schools and not-for-profit organisations".

"We know that two of the donated defibrillators have been used and were successful both times".

It was while completing first aid staff training that the need for a defibrillator was raised at MASP.

"We are a large organisation, with multiple campuses, many clients and 111 staff" MASP chief executive Gary

Simpson said.

"The defibrillator will help us respond to any critical emergencies".

"If you only use it once, then it was worth having one and it gives us peace of mind".

"At this stage we will be placing the defibrillator in the day activity centre but will look to purchase one or two more in

the future" he said.

"Any organisation with more than 100 staff should consider investing in one".

Practice manager at Mildura Cardiology Raelene Johns said it was important for those with defibrillators to regularly

check the use-by dates of the pads and batteries.      

Dr Melissa FitZerald

 Our latest Cardiology Registrar is Dr Melissa Fitzgerald. She grew up in West Gippsland and now lives in Melbourne.  She studied Medicine at Melbourne University and is now a doctor at The Alfred Hospital where she is currently a 1st year Royal Australasian College of Physicians Advanced Trainee in Acute and General Medicine.  Interests include travelling, paddle boarding the Murray River, and eating/drinking with family and friends.  She loves dogs, and enjoys swimming, shopping and spending Tom’s money, reading, Pilates and music.  She has enjoyed her time at Mildura Cardiology so far and says “it provides excellent learning opportunities in cardiology, particularly with ECG’s and Echo’s. There is a broad base of medicine with interesting diagnoses and lovely patients.” She added under duress “the Staff are amazingly welcoming and inclusive like you have your own little family here“.  Things that have impressed her about Mildura include the wineries, Fossey's Gin Distillery, the people, the weather and the Murray River.    

Cardiac & Respiratory Centre

  We have entered into an arrangement with Mildura Private Hospital, to lease some rooms in what was formally Geraldton Wing. This has allowed all our echocardiography services to be moved from Mildura Cardiology to the new rooms in Mildura Private Hospital. Yellow painting on the driveway outside the main entrance to Mildura Cardiology guides the way to the new echocardiography area. We also have a reception and waiting room area and to date this has all been functioning very smoothly, allowed us to create some more consulting space in the Mildura Cardiology building.  

Dr Kaushali Britto

Kaushali is our current Cardiology Registrar on three month rotation from The Alfred. She was born in Sri Lanka, speaks Sinhalese and has been living in Melbourne for the past four years. Her intended areas of specialisation are Gastroenterology and General Medicine, and in promoting health awareness and health literacy in socioeconomically underdeveloped nations. Ultimately she would like to focus her medical interest on inflammatory bowel disease. Her interests include exploring the multicultural cuisines Melbourne has to offer, theatre, travel and playing the violin. .

Medical Student – Eve Malsem

Eve Malsem is our current fifth year medical student with Monash School of Rural Health. She is working with us for six weeks undertaking a Cardiology elective. Eve was previously in Mildura for 12 months when she was a third year student. Eve was born in Wangaratta. Her interests include running, travelling, singing and reading fantasy novels. She lived in Germany for six months as an exchange student whilst completing year 10 and speaks fluent German. Eve is enjoying her rotation at Mildura Cardiology and her long term goal is to work in a rural area, possibly in north-eastern Victoria, but we would be delighted if she was to come back to Mildura!

Dr. Chandran Gunasekaran

Our new Cardiology Registrar for the next 6 months is Dr. Chandran Gunasekaran. Chandran is a 2nd year Advanced Trainee in Acute and General Medicine. He is also undertaking dual training with the College of Intensive Care Medicine. Having first discovered his interest in acute medicine as a Medical Registrar in another country hospital, he enjoys the challenges of managing acute and chronic medical issues in the rural setting. He believes the knowledge and skills acquired during his Mildura Cardiology rotation will be useful in his future career as a General Physician and Intensivist. Chandran has a keen interest in Cosmology and Astronomy. He enjoys walking, cycling, eating, reading and movies.

Medical Student – Wen Huey Goai

My name is Goai Wen Huey, I am a final year (5th year) medical student from Monash University, Malaysian campus. I am originally from Penang, Malaysia, and I am here in Mildura for an elective. I chose Mildura Cardiology to do my elective because cardiology is one of my options in the future to specialize in. I was recommended to come here by my senior, Kai Yang, who also did an elective in Mildura Cardiology, and gave remarkable reviews about the clinic. My hobbies include weight lifting, playing basketball as well as playing music. I play the piano, guitar, and am an amateur drummer. Mildura Cardiology is definitely a place for you if you have an interest in Cardiology, as all the staff here are extremely friendly and welcoming. They are patient teachers, definitely not shy of sharing their knowledge, and I assure that my 6 weeks here are going to be very enjoyable and beneficial.

Dobutamine stress echocardiograms

Mildura Cardiology is leasing a room in Mildura Base Hospital, to improve the ease of performing echocardiograms on inpatients.  The room is spacious and comfortable, and also allows us to perform other outpatient echocardiogram tests which would be more difficult to do in our Thirteenth Street premises. One of these tests is a dobutamine stress echo.  This test is used to investigate for coronary artery disease in patients who are unable to use a treadmill. Dobutamine is a medication which is given intravenously, and causes the heart to pump quicker and use more oxygen, much like exercise does, but with the patient resting. An echocardiogram is done at the same time to see if any part of the heart does not pump as strongly as it should, suggesting this part of the heart is not receiving it’s full blood supply, as can be caused by a coronary narrowing. Several of these studies were done on 15th Oct 2015, and this is the happy Mildura Cardiology team – Margot, Lisa, Jo , Jan and Mitra.  Margot and Lisa are Echo technologists, Jo is our Cardiology Registrar, Jan is one of our Nurses, and Dr Mitra Shirazi is one of our visiting Cardiologists from Adelaide.

Registrars Excelling

Our previous registrar Dr Jun Hua Chong, and our current registrar Dr Jyotsna (Jo) Janardan, both presented posters at the recent annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australasia and New Zealand. The posters were to do with echocardiography and interhospital patient transfers respectively, and based on studies both doctors had  undertaken at Mildura Cardiology. To have their work accepted for presentation was an honour, and we are proud of their achievements. Jun has recently been accepted into the cardiology training program and will be starting this at the Nepean Hospital in NSW in 2016. We congratulate her on the appointment and will follow her career with interest and pride in the years to come.

Medical Student – Hassanain Altamimi

Our current medical student doing a six week cardiology elective is Hassanain Altamin, originally from Iraq. He is a 5th year medical student attending Monash University. He has a keen interest in cardiology as a future career, and his hobbies include martial arts, motor sports and sky diving. He reports enjoying his experience at Mildura Cardiology and we have enjoyed his pleasant nature and enthusiasm for his studies.