Minister launches Lymphodema education package
A new multimedia education package for patients and practitioners will lead to greater understanding of lymphoedema, a condition that occurs when the lymphatic system is unable to function properly.
Minister launches Lymphodema education packageA new multimedia education package for patients and practitioners will lead to greater understanding of lymphoedema, a condition that occurs when the lymphatic system is unable to function properly.
The Vital Essence was launched today by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson. This education and awareness package consists of lectures, video clips, movies, animations and assessment forms for patients and health practitioners. With the use of CDs, DVDs and a website, the package allows users to explore all aspects of the lymphatic system in audio and visual formats. Through its in-built screening programs, users can make risk assessments for the condition.
Lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system is unable to properly transport fluids and waste products from body tissues. If not removed, this results in fluids and toxins building up in the tissues, which can lead to major swelling of the patient's arms and legs. This can significantly affect the patient's quality of life.
"Lymphoedema affects 350,000 Australians and another 26,000 people are at risk of developing it yearly," Senator Patterson said. "There is also a lot of misinformation about lymphoedema, so The Vital Essence will help patients, students and health workers learn about the prevention and treatment of this debilitating condition. The multimedia package provides reliable information about screening, assessment, examination, treatment and ongoing management of the condition."
The package will provide important information to patients who have had surgery or radiotherapy, which may have damaged their lymphatic system. This includes patients who have had a mastectomy associated with breast cancer and those who have had surgery or radiotherapy for cancer of the bowel, reproductive system or prostate.
"The Vital Essence will provide much needed objective information to the 30 per cent of these patients who will develop lymphoedema," Senator Patterson said. "It is the first package of its kind in the world and I understand there are plans to market it internationally.
"I commend Professor Neil Piller, of Flinders Medical Centre's Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic and Flinders University's Department of Public Health, and his colleagues for developing this program."
The $135,000 cost of producing of the package was met by the Volunteer Service for Flinders Medical Centre and several companies and community groups.
Further details on how to access The Vital Essence is available at: www.flinders.sa.gov.au/lymphoedema.
Media Contact: Randal Markey, Senator Patterson's office (02) 6277 7220
Corporate communications, Flinders Medical Centre (08) 8204 4949