Rapid access to surgical procedures

Posted 22 Mar 2023

Podiatrists at Noarlunga Hospital will trial a new model of care for anxious patients, to help them get rapid access to some minor surgical procedures.

Senior Podiatrist Claire Huxtable has been awarded a Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) Enquiry Grant for a trial which will see patients who require toenail surgery receive inhaled pain medication in the podiatry outpatient clinic to assist with needle-stick pain and anxiety about the procedure.

At present, it is standard for patients experiencing needle phobia or anxiety about the procedure, to have it performed in theatre under general anaesthetic.

But with elective surgery prioritised based on clinical urgency, and higher costs associated with performing elective surgeries, Claire and her colleagues will trial prescribing patients methoxyflurane – an inhaled pain medication often referred to as “the green whistle” - to enable the procedure to be carried out pain-free in an outpatient clinic setting.

“This new model of care was derived directly from a common consumer-reported concern about anxiety relating to needles, injections and associated pain - which if not addressed, can impact negatively upon patient outcomes,” Claire explains.

“It’s anticipated that this trial will enable this group of patients to have toenail surgery sooner, with less sedation and a faster recovery.”

The project is one of 23 exciting new research projects to share in the $1 million SALHN Enquiry Grant round, thanks to your generous support, and a collaboration between Flinders Foundation and The Hospital Research Foundation Group.


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