A NURSE is set to take on a half marathon to raise money for a specialist piece of equipment which can save children a trip to hospital

Sarah Voice works as a specialist nurse in the Anticoagulation Team at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

Anticoagulation, which prevents or slows down the clotting of the blood, is used in patients who have had a condition caused by a blood clot, such as a stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs).

It can also be used to treat patients with an increased risk of developing harmful blood clots, such as those with a replacement heart valve, an irregular heart rhythm, a blood clotting disorder, such as thrombophilia or an increased risk of blood clots following surgery.

Sarah, who is based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), said: “I decided to raise funds as there are facilities at the hospital for this to be undertaken, however this may involve disruption to school life, parents’ work, expense of travel to the hospital and general disruption to family life. Self-testing machines can be used in the home environment with appropriate training, however this isn't always possible for some families due to financial restraints."

The Anticoagulation Teamsupports both adults and children with their dosing regimens.

For patients taking the anticoagulation medication warfarin, who can be on it for the whole of their lives, regular blood testing is needed, usually via a blood sample being taken from the arm and sent to the laboratory for processing.

With children the use of a Coaguchek machine can avoid the need for a blood sample out of the arm, minimising distress for the child whilst also providing an instant result after a finger prick test is undertaken.

While this can be done in the hospital, there are also ‘self-testing’ machines available.

Sarah added: “My initial aim was to raise enough money to buy one machine, but I am now hoping that I will be able to raise enough to buy two, which will be donated to children who need them and be able to improve the quality of life for both the child and their families.”