Projects 2019 – Szent Rafael Hospital, Zalaegerszeg

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The Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg not only functions as a health-care institution for the 60,000 people who live in this town situated in the south-west of Hungary in Zala county. It is also the main hospital for the surrounding area, and accepts patients from throughout western Hungary, and even from across Hungary’s borders.

The reason for its extensive reach is the expertise that the doctors and nurses offer at Szent Rafael Hospital. They are able to treat certain patients that other hospitals cannot. This is one of the reasons why the Robert Burns International Foundation chose to continue supporting this Zala hospital, again as part of the SME Sponsorship Scheme in collaboration with FirstMed Center and CEO Dennis Diokno, following the success of the initial project in 2018.

This year, the hospital asked that we fund sensor kits for their ventilator machines, and looking at the photos, it was initially difficult to understand how something so small could be so expensive. But looks can be deceptive, as these kits play a very important role. When connected to a ventilator machine, they monitor the level of carbon dioxide coming from the patient.

“The quantity of carbon dioxide measured in the air exhaled by mechanically-ventilated children is an objective indicator – from a non-invasive procedure – of the effectiveness of the ventilation. We did not use to have such devices at our disposal”, said Dr László Gárdos, head of department.

Why is this important? Sudden changes in CO2 elimination usually imply a change in cardiorespiratory function, and can help in the early detection of respiratory events, such as hypoventilation, or signal that a breathing tube has become disconnected, even though this isn’t evident on the outside. It goes without saying that this contributes hugely to preventing potentially irreversible patient injury. The different sizes of sensor kit enable the doctors and nurses to use them for a wide range of paediatric needs.

“The capnography devices are instrumental in ensuring the successful ventilation of seriously ill children (in intensive care) and of new-borns in a critical condition (Perinatal Intensive Care Centre)”, added Dr. Gárdos.

Alongside Dr László Gárdos the RBIF was welcomed again by Dr Gabriella Halász, Director of the Hospital. They very much value the help that the guests of the Burns Supper give every year, as this is equipment that the hospital would otherwise have to do without, with the associated impact then on the standard of health care that they can provide, so a big thank you to all those who supported the Burns Supper in 2019! We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Szent Rafael Hospital in 2020.


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The Robert Burns International Foundation (RBIF) is supported by the British Ambassador to Hungary and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK. The Honorary President of the foundation is Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United football club. In the last 20 years the organisation has raised several hundred thousand euros to help sick and underprivileged children.

Contact: [email protected]