The Doppler device monitors descending aortic blood flow using ultrasound and is connected to a portable monitor, which provides vital information on whether a patient is suffering from problems such as haemorrhage, dehydration, heart failure or infection.
Inserting the probe through the nose into the oesophagus is a non-invasive procedure performed while the patient is awake. All eight nurse specialists in the Critical Care Outreach Team at Colchester General Hospital have now been trained to use it.
‘The procedure is less time-consuming than other methods, such as a central line insertion, and carries a minimal risk of causing infection as it’s non-invasive,’ said nurse specialist Angela Marshall, who developed the service with colleague Lee Ellis.
‘What makes it unique is that this is a nurse-led service, and it is already attracting attention from other hospitals in the country,’ added Mr Ellis.
Ms Marshall and Mr Lee will be auditing and evaluating the service’s effectiveness over the next six months with a view to publishing their findings at a later date.