A specialist nurse is set to take on a half marathon to raise money for a machine that will help minimise “distress” for children who need regular blood tests.
Sarah Voice, who works in the anticoagulation team at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, is raising funds for a specialist piece of equipment which tests children’s blood using a finger-prick test as opposed to taking a sample from the arm.
“My aim is to be able to raise enough funds to purchase and donate a “coaguchek” machine”
Ms Voice and the anticoagulation team at the trust support children and adults who have had a condition caused by a blood clot, such as a stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism with their anticoagulation dosing regimes.
For patients taking warfarin, regular blood testing is needed, usually via a blood sample which will be sent off to the laboratory for processing, noted the trust.
As a result, Ms Voice who is based at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, is taking part in her first ever marathon in February to raise funds for “coaguchek” machines that test blood in a way that can minimise “distress” for young patients while providing instant results, explained the trust.
The “coagucheck” machine means children affected by conditions caused by blood clots can avoid giving a traditional blood sample and could also prevent a trip to the hospital.
While this test can be done in a hospital, Ms Voice hopes her fundraiser will help to provide “self-testing” versions of the machine, which families can use at home.
She said: “I decided to raise funds, as there are facilities at the hospital for this to be undertaken, however this may involve disruption to school life, parents’ work, expense of travel to the hospital and general disruption to family life.
“Self-testing machines can be used in the home environment with appropriate training, however this isn’t always possible for some families due to financial restraints,” she added.
Initially, Ms Voice aimed to raise enough money to buy just one machine, but she said that she is now hoping she will raise enough to buy two.
“My aim is to be able to raise enough funds to purchase and donate a “coaguchek” machine for a child in need and be able to improve the quality of life for both child and their families. If I’m lucky enough to receive more donations than the target it will be put to purchasing a second machine,” she said.
The specialist nurse from Welshpool will take part in the Village Bakery Half Marathon in Wrexham on 17 February and is hoping her first half marathon to be a “memorable one”.
Ms Voice has set up an online donation page for anyone wanting to sponsor her.