Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 13-01-2015 Contents Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 8
St Vinnies Tuggeranong centre manager Jenny Lyons helps Canberra Hospital emergency department staff
specialist James Falconer cut the clothing off a training dummy.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Practice makes almost perfect for the
busy trauma team at Canberra Hospital
who rely on simulation training to
rehearse real-life scenarios.
The trauma team deals with severely
injured patients who are brought in by
ambulance or the Snowy Hydro
To ensure the best care is provided,
emergency department staff specialist
James Falconer creates fake injuries
on a mannequin for the team to
To ensure the scene is realistic and
in turn allow for better training, staff at
St Vincent de Paul Tuggeranong
donate bags of clothing to the cause.
Blue denim jeans and a stained
flannel shirt are an accurate
representation of someone who might
come in to trauma.
Dr Falconer said the mannequin he
had set up could easily have been
someone hit by a car, or who fell from
"We see quite a lot of trauma ...
high speed car accidents, roll-overs,
anything where there is a high
probability of significant injury, he
The trauma code team is made up
of different components of the critical
care part of the hospital --
anaesthetists, intensive care unit,
emergency department and general
"For any team to work well, they
need to practise as well, Dr Falconer
We don t want them practising on
If there was going to be a mistake
made, I d rather it was made on a hunk
of plastic called a mannequin."
Dr Falconer said practice was one
way of fine-tuning essential skills,
especially because team members
changed on different shifts.
"What we re aiming to do, it s all
about the fidelity, the realism, so we
need to make it look as real as possible
... to add to that realism, getting the
clothes is actually really valuable for
us," he said.
The trauma team is required to cut
clothes to find any hidden injuries just
as they would in a real life situation.
St Vincent de Paul Tuggeranong
centre manager Jenny Lyons keeps
clothes that would otherwise be
unsaleable, due to stains or damage, to
give Dr Falconer for his trauma
"He is very passionate about this
project and about teaching, and the
fidelity angle is really important to
him, she said.
That really impressed us at
"If these wonderful people have got
these ideas and I can help or facilitate
in some way, I ll try to make it
Andrew Hay makes a donation
every fortnight and has been
donating blood for 35 years.
The Red Cross fridges were full of
Canberran blood between Christmas
and the new year after a call to arms
before the festive season.
Generous Canberra donors saved
the lives of more than 1200
Australians from December 29 to
Each donor contributed nearly half a
litre of blood per donation, adding up
to more than 214 litres of whole blood
donations over the period.
The mobile donation service
collected 103 donations, including 25
walk-in donors and 17 new donors.
The Canberra Donor Centre collected
The first donor of 2015 was Andrew
Hay who completed his 501st donation
at 7.30am on January 2.
The mobile service will visit
Queanbeyan (parked at Riverside
Plaza car park on Morisset Street from
Monday, January 19, to Friday,
January 23) to help tie over the blood
supply for the Australia Day holiday.
A Red Cross spokeswoman said 166
donors were needed to make
appointments at the mobile donation
point to keep up with demand over the
Phone 13 14 95 to make a booking.
Mercury soars as ACT swelters through a sizzler
Canberra sweltered through three
heatwaves last year and 2014 was the
ACT s third warmest year on record
for maximum temperatures.
The city sweated through 19 days of
temperatures at least 35 degrees
Celsius -- nearly four times the average
of five days -- and three days when
temperatures climbed to 40 degrees or
The territory was hit by three
heatwaves last year -- in January,
February and one that lasted nearly
two weeks in May.
Last year was Canberra s fifth-
warmest on record and third hottest for
average maximum temperatures, the
Bureau of Meteorology s annual
climate summary, released on
It was 1.8 degrees hotter than the
historical average in Canberra last
year, when maximum temperatures
averaged 21.5 degrees.
The territory also shivered through
its coldest August, in terms of
minimum temperatures, in 20 years.
Last year s average minimum
temperature was 6.7 degrees, 0.2
degrees above the average.
The coldest night was recorded on
August 5, when the mercury dipped
down to a chilly minus 7.6 degrees.
Gary Allan, a climatologist with the
Bureau of Meteorology s climate
information services, said Canberra
experienced a range of extremes in
We ve been very close to El Nino
thresholds for six months or more and
El Nino conditions for Australia is
generally associated with well-below-
average rainfall, particularly for south-
eastern Australia, and generally
warmer than average conditions, he
The first half of last year was the
wettest part of 2014 for the ACT and
particularly heavy rain caused
widespread flooding on February 19
The second half of the year was
drier because of persistent high-
pressure systems and a lack of big
Canberra received 569 millimetres
of rain last year, slightly less than the
average of 614 millimetres.
Total rainfall between July and
November was 44 per cent below
That made it the eighth driest five-
month period on record.
Mr Allan said the drier-than-normal
conditions in Canberra were likely to
persist this year, well into the autumn
The odds of wetter-than-normal
conditions for the coming year are
It would be most surprising if we
were to see a dramatic turnaround in
the dry conditions that we ve been
observing now for the best part of the
last six to eight months," he said.
Last year was also the third warmest
on record for the rest of Australia
which sweated through frequent
heatwaves and warm spells.
Spring 2014 was the warmest on
record for Australia.
GOOD FOOD MONTH:
February 27 -- March 15, 2015
Three favourite features of The Canberra Times Good Food Month
presented by Citi, return in 2015 running alongside the Enlighten Festival,
withLet'sDoLunch,HatsOﬀ Dinners and Drink and Dine. Restaurants,
bars, pubs and food businesses join the celebration and showcase what
you do best this February and March!
For more information on how to get involved
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