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Jimmy's farm pig trotters used for specialist cancer training
23 February 2017

Using pigs trotters for extravasation training at Ipswich HospitalDoctors and nurses working in the oncology team at our hospital have received specialist training to further improve patient safety – all with the help of a batch of pig trotters kindly donated by Jimmy’s Farm.

Thirty-five staff took part in the practical session looking at ways to minimise damage caused by extravasation, which is a rare complication which happens when chemotherapy drugs accidentally leak into the tissue surrounding the vein.

They used the trotters, which closely mimic the back of a human hand, to practise the procedure to take if things do go wrong, which involves cutting away some tissues and injecting an antidote to flush out the drug.

The training was carried out by a specialist intravenous nurse consultant from the Royal Marsden Hospital, which specialises in cancer care, and has been funded by the Somersham Ward Support Group.

Pauline Meadows, oncology and haematology sister on the Woolverstone Wing, said: “We are really pleased that we were able to offer this training to our team, which has made sure they know exactly what to do on the rare occasions when extravasation does occur.

“We already take a range of precautions to stop extravasation from happening, such as making sure experienced staff are on hand and can sit with patients during chemotherapy, selecting veins carefully and using a drip which will stop if a problem occurs. We also encourage patients to let us know if they experience any pain or stinging, as it is vital to take action quickly if there is an issue so that we can minimise damage to the tissue.

“Pigs trotters mimic the back of the hand perfectly, so are the ideal thing to practise on. We did initially wonder where we could get so many from, and were delighted when Jimmy’s Farm said they could help.

“We are also very grateful to the Somersham Ward Support Group for funding this training, which has further increased our skills and knowledge for the benefit of our patients.”