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Supplies for injured wildlife

Friday, 17th January, 2020

Broken Hill Health Service General manager Melissa Welsh, RRANA representative Lindy Hunt and Medical Ward’s Acting Nurse Unit manager Caroline Clemens are excited to donate old hospital equipment that will help assist bushfire-affected wildlife. PICTURE: Myles Burt Broken Hill Health Service General manager Melissa Welsh, RRANA representative Lindy Hunt and Medical Ward’s Acting Nurse Unit manager Caroline Clemens are excited to donate old hospital equipment that will help assist bushfire-affected wildlife. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

The Broken Hill Health Service has teamed up with RRANA in donating expired medical supplies to bushfire-affected animals.

General manager Melissa Welsh said the donated equipment would be packaged up and sent to an Animal Rescue Collective (ARC) hub in Salisbury, South Australia, where the donations would then be distributed to wildlife carers in bushfire affected regions.

The donations consist of out-of-date, unused or opened items such as open dressing packs, cannulation kits, wound kits that are no longer aseptic (sterile), end of date saline, IV lines and cannulas, syringes, plastic bowls and kidney dishes, disinfectant hand wash plus any out-of-date medications, creams, Jelonet and Melonin dressings.

Ms Welsh said the initiative had been great in minimising wastage around the hospital, and they hoped to continue the commitment locally with RRANA, even after the demand drops for bushfire-affected animals.

“We know that healthcare with standards, infection control and all these other things, there is a lot of single-use items that we have going through the service that we can’t reuse with a patient, but we can reuse with animals,” Ms Welsh said.

“Some things are perfectly good, never been touched, but they’ve come out of a packet and we just can’t use them.

“We felt that was a good opportunity to try and help some burned animals, some sick animals with some of the stuff that perhaps might be useful for animal care.”

Medical Ward’s Acting Nurse Unit manager Caroline Clemens said she and another workmate, who was volunteering with RRANA, initially started collecting unusable hospital supplies for RRANA.

Ms Clemens said after asking other hospital wards for supplies, the donations snowballed into the current Broken Hill Health Service initiative.

“I’ve been sent photos of the little lizards drinking out of our little cannulation dishes that we throw out, it’s just the perfect size for a lizard to drink out of,” Ms Clemens said.

“They brought a baby wombat in that you don’t see out here, which one of the carers had, but we supplied stuff for that as well.

“It’s been great, otherwise, as Mel said, it gets thrown out.”

RRANA representative Lindy Hunt said the hospital initiative had been incredible, as the donations would animal carers from running out of medical equipment, which is expensive to buy.

“We can repurpose anything generally, any medical equipment,” Ms Hunt said.

“We rarely throw anything out, if we take it on board we’re going to use it.

“The ARC is a really good choice to send this gear because they will distribute it as necessary and they also do financial support.”

Ms Hunt said the donation from locals had been amazing, with even a South Australian trucking company offering to deliver their donations to the ARC hub in Salisbury free.

Overall, Ms Hunt said the generosity to humans and animals affected by the nationwide bushfires has been astonishing.

“We’ve all seen the footage on TV of the way they’ve been impacted,” Ms Hunt said.

“I’ve been a wildlife carer for 17 years and I haven’t seen images like that, and it just breaks my heart, you can’t unsee that.

“But we need to see it, because we need to act and this is acting on it.”

Ms Hunt said RRANA would be holding a cake stall at the local Coles Supermarket this weekend with further details soon to be announced.

The cake stall fundraiser will be also helping RRANA supply essential wildlife care for their 100 baby joey’s that they aren’t able to release due to the drought.

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