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28th Jun, 2022

Lung screening gets breath of fresh air

Worcester Editorial 19th Apr, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

LUNG screening for patients in the city is set to improve thanks to a £20,000 donation from hospital fund-raisers.

The two Leagues of Friends at Worcester and Kidderminster teamed up to put the cash towards a state-of-the-art endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) machine for the early detection of lung cancer.

The machine is worth over £100,000, with the rest of the funds met by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and other charitable donations.

The equipment means patients can be tested without the need for invasive chest surgery.

It is the second EBUS machine to be made available in Worcestershire, following the launch of the same machine at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

Patients referred for the test are placed under local anaesthetic and a flexible ultrasound tube is guided through the mouth into the lungs.

Using the ultrasound images as a guide, sample cells are taken for testing.  The procedure takes less than one hour and results are available straight away – within a day, with the patient returning home on the same day.

It is expected to benefit up to 50 patients per year, reducing the time taken to start treatment by around three weeks.

The new arrangement will also free up surgeons’ time to carry out more treatments, because they will be carrying out fewer diagnostic operations.

Dr Ingrid du Rand, consultant respiratory physician, said: “This is a fantastic development for patients in Worcestershire.

“We’re really privileged to be able offer this service.  It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Friends of Worcestershire Royal Hospital, and Kidderminster League of Friends. We’re very grateful for everything they’ve done.

“Patients will start to see the benefit straight away, and our first appointment was at the end of February. Early treatment of cancer gives patients the best possible chance of recovery.  This technology will help us to reach a diagnosis faster than ever, without the need for invasive surgery or asking patients to travel.”

Eluned Smith, chair of the Friends of Worcestershire Royal Hospital, added: “When we saw what the EBUS could do to help patients with lung problems we knew we had to do everything possible to make the machine available.”

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