Donations add new technology to oncology service

Thanks to generous donations to the oncology service, St John of God Ballarat Hospital has been able to purchase a scalp cooling machine to reduce hair loss for patients as they undergo chemotherapy treatment.

St John of God Ballarat Hospital 

21 December 2017

Many patients put hair loss as one of their most feared side effects of chemotherapy treatment, but with the scalp cooling machines hair loss can be reduced which helps remove one of the most visible signs of the treatment.

Oncology Ward Nurse Unit Manager Liz McEncroe said the equipment would help improve patients' overall wellbeing.

“It helps give patients more normality in their everyday life,” Liz said.

The scalp cooling machine works by lowering the temperature of the head before, during and after a patient’s treatment.

Used on up to two patients at once, this unit has a refrigerated cooling system that pumps coolant through the cap, extracting heat from the scalp.

This causes a constriction of the blood vessels in the scalp, which reduces blood flow to the hair follicles. Reducing blood flow can limit the affects chemotherapy has on the hair follicles, decreasing the possibility of hair loss.

St John of God Ballarat Hospital is very proud to offer this treatment to their patients in line with their Mission to provide excellence in care.