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President's Message
David Bradshaw
Presidents Notes - Rapport  22 January 2019
Once again welcome to 2019. We trust your Christmas and New Year breaks were relaxing and restful.
Our first meeting of the year was held at the University in Kyber Pass.  We were joined by  a number of members of the Penrose Rotary for our customary annual joint meeting.
We welcomed as guests, Stephanie Shennan, Jen Wright, Claire Bennett and Ash Siddqisi. From Penrose we welcomed Terry Young, Harvey Alison, Graham Mountfort, David Jack and Win Miskelly.
Please note that because of Auckland Anniversary Day and Waitangi Day there will be no meetings on either the 29th of January or the 5th of February.  The next meeting after those weeks will be on 12 February at Ellerslie
Duties  - If you cannot undertake your rostered duty please arrange for some-one else to step in and do your duty.
 Please note duties will be updated closer to the 12th.


NZALS - Prosthetics
At our first meeting of the year our guest speakers were Stephanie Shennan and Jen Wright from NZALS, introduced by Brian McMath.
Stephanie and Jen gave as insight into the world of artificial limbs in NZ, who receives them, how they are made, how many a recipient receives and how much they cost.
There are five Limb Centres in  NZ servicing some 4500 (approx) patients in NZ. There are also visiting clinics for those who require limb services but who are not resident where the centres are located.  35% of patients are covered by ACC.  Patients are mainly single amuptees, but there are 8 with 4 limbs missing and several with three limbs missing. Within the NZALS set up there are 6 prosthetists, 7 technicians and 4 physiotherapists.
Jen took us through the process of manufacturing a prosthetic limb for a patient. Casts are taken of the stump to which the limb is to be fitted. This in turn leads to the creation of a further cast around which the socket into which the stump sits when the artificial limb is worn..  Once the limb is built and tested by the patient the ALS staff check the alignment of the leg to make sure that the limb, if a leg, is walking correctly.  Finally there is the need to learn to use a limb which is very hard.
we were told that the issueof socket comfort is very important.  Everyone is chasing it but the perfect socket is always out of reach
That is not the end of the story as over time, we were told the physiology of an amputated limb changes through age or atrophy so the socket into which the residual limb fits must be altered to account for changes.  in addition prosthetic limbs do wear out over time so there are regular replacement of limbs.
Jan and Stephanie pointed out that the state pays in the main for one limb.  If another limb is required for say running or sport then that is a separate cost and must be purchased separately.  The examples of running limbs that we were shown show that the 'foot" of such legs are completely different to regular limbs to the extent there is little or no cross-over between a running limb and one built for general use.
Artificial limb sockets are made from a variety of components including silicon and are produced in a variety of ways including through the use of 3d printing.
At the end of Stephanie and Jan's address they showed us an example of the range of limbs that are produced and engaged in a lively question and answer session.