A Sheffield hospital is the first in the country to use a new, precision bone cutting tool on spinal surgery patients following a big charity donation.
The Ultrasonic Bone Cutter machine has been bought for the Royal Hallamshire Hospital by the Neurocare charity, which was given £18,260 by insurer Westfield Health.
The tool is precise enough to cut through the bone, leaving the surrounding blood vessels, nerves and tissue undamaged.
This lessens the risk of trauma and blood-loss during operations.
Neurosurgeons see the equipment as an important advancement in spinal surgery, and the Hallamshire is the first hospital in the UK using this particular piece of equipment.
Marcel Ivonov, a neurosurgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said other medics from around the country would be flocking to see the machine in action.
“We are extremely excited to be the first NHS trust in the UK to use this particular piece of equipment, which is suitable not only for open surgery but also for minimally invasive spinal and cranial procedures,” he said.
“Other surgeons from around the country will be coming to see it in use, so we thank Westfield Health for their donation which will benefit our work and the lives of our patients.”
Neurocare funds research, specialist training and equipment for neurological conditions at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
Patricia Mitchell, chief executive of Neurocare, said: “We are hugely grateful for Westfield Health’s donation and continued support in this vital area of neurosurgery.
“Bone scalpel tools enable precise cuts to be made through bones with minimal damage to the surrounding structures, so are a fantastic advancement. The donation means we now have the most cutting-edge equipment available, making spinal surgery in particular much safer.”
And Graham Moore, Westfield Health’s chairman, added: “We are delighted to make a significant donation to help make neurosurgery safer for patients.
“It’s fantastic to contribute towards this innovative equipment and to make a real difference to the vital work of the neurosurgeons.”
n Visit www.neurocare.org.uk/our-projects/current-projects for more information about the fundraising drive to buy the tools.