Staff at Petrofac in Aberdeen have made a vital contribution to improving the quality of life for many people living with Cystic Fibrosis in the north east – by donating the first physiotherapy vest to be used in the adult CF unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life-shortening condition that affects about 10,000 children and adults in the UK including about 70 adults in the north east of Scotland. It causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged with thick sticky mucus, resulting in chronic infections and inflammation of the lungs.
The CF unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) uses a special physiotherapy vest as one way of helping adults with CF to keep their lungs free of the mucus. ARI has not previously possessed its own vest but had one on trial from a manufacturer.
The High-Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO) Vest is an inflatable vest, resembling a lifejacket. It is connected to a compressor that delivers rapid bursts of air, inflating and deflating the vest many times a second, depending on the patient’s needs. This creates gentle pressure and vibrations on the chest, helping to loosen and expel the mucus from the lungs.
Petrofac staff welcomed the news that that money ordinarily put aside for hampers for valued customers at Christmas could be diverted to pay for the purchase of a vest for ARI’s use.
Margaret MacLeod, Senior Respiratory Physiotherapist at ARI, said: “The CF Team here are extremely grateful to Petrofac and its staff for enabling us to purchase this machine. Patients who have used this equipment here have found it effective and it provides additional treatments in the unit – extra to those delivered by physiotherapists here. The physiotherapist assesses each patient and where the vest is suitable, the physiotherapist sets up the equipment in the unit and the patient can then carry on independently with the treatment.
“An inpatient may need as many as four sessions of physiotherapy a day, so having this equipment can help ease the physical demands on them. We hope this will make a significant difference to many of our patients with CF living in the Grampian region.”
June Ross, Regional Fundraising Manager – Scotland for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: “We are delighted that Petrofac is supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and families with Cystic Fibrosis. We believe Cystic Fibrosis is a fight we must win. Generous donations from businesses like Petrofac enable us to continue with our ambitious research strategy and provide advice and support to all those living with or affected by the condition.”
Eleanor Bentley, Vice President, Finance, Petrofac Offshore Projects & Operations said: “We’re very pleased to be able to support ARI and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in this way and to be able to help provide something tangible that will have a positive impact on people’s lives. This is the charity chosen by our staff and I know they will be delighted to hear that we are making a difference.”
Petrofac staff are currently halfway through a two year fundraising drive for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, their chosen ‘Charity of the Year’, and have already raised £20,000 that will be put towards groundbreaking research and specialist care and advice for the many thousands of CF sufferers and their families.
Other fundraising activities have included a staff summer barbecue, office raffle and ‘Petrofactor’, a version of the popular TV talent show X-factor. Activities already planned for this year include a quiz night and a dedicated ‘CF Week’ in June with a variety of events.