RUSSELLS Hall Hospital has unveiled a state-of-the-art new machine that tests how well the body responds to exercise to help consultants predict how well patients will cope with surgery.

The high-tech cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) machine, located in the hospital's orthopaedic and surgical clinical centre, evaluates how the heart, lungs and muscle respond to exercise, mimicking the physiological stress on the body that surgery causes.

The tests are performed on a stationary bike and, as the patient rides, consultants measure how much air they breathe, how much oxygen they require and how fast and efficiently their heart beats.

The service is currently available to patients undergoing major vascular surgery, for which the Trust is a regional centre.

Dr Adrian Jennings, consultant anaesthetist, said, “We are now able to more accurately risk assess patients undergoing surgery. This is useful for clinicians as we can better direct care to the patient’s individual needs, for example, the type of anaesthetic and the type of postoperative care.

“Moreover, it is useful for patients who can better understand their surgical risk and make better informed decisions about their treatment opinions. In some cases, we may be able to optimise patients’ fitness further before they embark on surgery.”