about our charity partner

We are delighted to, once again, be able to support the charity Friends of the Coombe.

Friends of the Coombe is a registered charity that was established in 1982 to assist the development of the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, support its vital research programmes and enhance the care it gives to patients and their families.

Charity Registration Number: 20072001 CHY 18654

Companies Registration Office Number: 94740

This year’s focus…Women’s Health

This year, we are focusing on supporting excellence in the care of women by helping to raise much needed funds to buy a Laparo Analytic advanced laparoscopic surgical skills training system.

The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital is home to the largest gynaecology unit in Ireland.  Its doctors perform more than 5,000 operations every year, the majority of which are laparoscopic procedures (also known as keyhole surgery or minimal access procedures).  These operations are carried out to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions which include endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, unexplained pelvic pain, female infertility, and ectopic pregnancy.

Covid-19 is affecting the healthcare system in so many ways, including operating theatres.  To safely perform surgical procedures during the pandemic, there is a more complicated pre-operative and post-operative process that must be adhered to.  This has resulted in surgeons needing to perform procedures as efficiently as possible, significantly reducing the number of specialist surgical training opportunities available to trainee doctors.

Just as airline pilots use simulators to help develop basic and specialist flying skills, doctors are now able to use similar technology to develop and maintain specialist surgical skills.

As a university hospital, The Coombe has a special responsibility for surgical skills training and development.  It is a central training hub for trainees on the Basic Specialist Training programme, who also rotate through other hospitals.  The Coombe also trains doctors on the Higher Specialist Training Programme which is designed to produce doctors who are future leaders in gynaecology.

With the assistance of this new technology, a new simulated surgical training programme will be delivered by Dr Hugh D O’Connor, a consultant gynaecologist who has completed an internationally recognised programme in advanced gynaecological endoscopic surgery and who has undertaken specialised training in simulated surgical teaching with a particular focus on laparoscopic training.

The Lapro Analytic trainer is a significant improvement on existing laparoscopic trainers as it provides automatic, real-time assessment of the surgeon’s skills and allows trainees and supervisors to track progress.  It uses the latest breakthrough technology to facilitate the development of a host of essential skills from basic hand-eye coordination drills to highly intricate and delicate procedures, all of which can be practiced over and over again without having to be in the operating theatre.

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