New Operating Room Equipment
At the January 27, 2022 Hospital Foundation meeting the Directors approved $186,000 to fund new operating room equipment.
New lighting will be provided for both operating rooms. The current operating room lighting is 30 years old, having been installed with the original hospital construction in 1993. The new lighting will be more efficient and will provide a brighter environment for those working in the operating rooms.
A Rapid Infuser and an Arctic Sun Warming-Cooling Unit will also be purchased with this funding. A Rapid Infuser provides high-speed delivery of warmed blood and fluids to patients. This is often critical during trauma and emergencies. It is a leading medical device to combat hypothermia and blood loss. The Arctic Sun warming-cooling unit is used to induce a "mild hypothermic state" in patients. Studies have shown that slowing the body's metabolic processes by therapeutic hypothermia in patients who are experiencing insufficient blood flow due to cardiac arrest, stroke or brain trauma can increase the chance of a good outcome by 30 to 40 percent. This is a non-invasive system that will also re-warm patients in a controlled manner.
New Neonatal Monitor
The Foundation also approved funding of $21,000 to purchase an Intellivue Neonatal Monitor for the maternity department. The particular model to be purchased will provide remote monitoring of mother and baby away from the bedside, which will allow freedom of movement for patient while still being monitored by nurses.
This year, in 2021, the Foundation was able to commit $216,000 to purchase equipment and training. Most of the equipment has now been delivered although two medical air dryers have been delayed due to the current global issue in shipping.
Two major pieces of equipment were purchased to replace machines that were malfunctioning and nearing the end of life.
The cataract surgery team was doing 13 cases a week and over 50 cases per month when the old cataract machine gave up the ghost. A loaner machine from Lions Gate hospital filled the gap until a new machine purchased by the Foundation was delivered in January 2021. And the Emergency Room ultrasound machine had to be replaced when it began losing power when unplugged which made it difficult to perform bedside ultrasounds. The replacement was received in May 2021.
All donations to the Powell River Hospital Foundation are used to purchase equipment and training for the hospital and extended care facilities. The Foundation's operating costs are paid from the interest earned on our endowment fund, not from charitable donations.
New Equipment from TB Vets Charitable Foundation
The Powell River General Hospital is ready to handle an influx of COVID-19 patients. But so far Powell Riverites have been successful in limiting the spread of this influenza. We hope that physical distancing, mask wearing and isolating those who are infected will continue to prevent a rise in numbers of infections in our community.
Increased infection control measures have to be maintained so that the virus doesn’t get a foothold in the hospital or the Evergreen and Willingdon Complex Care facilities as well as in other vulnerable locations in the community .
The Foundation is grateful for the support and commitment that our community is displaying as we all rally to manage COVID-19. We need to continue to "do as we have been doing" through this Winter and into the Spring of 2021 until a vaccine is developed and we can all gain immunity.
The Foundation committed $208,000 to the purchase of equipment for the hospital in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020. Equipment worth $85,000 was delivered and paid for in the year, including a second infant incubator ($26,000) and an Intensive Care bed ($40,000). The remaining equipment has been delivered and we are awaiting invoicing. This includes:
Earlier in the year the Foundation committed to provide funding for training in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). This training requires bringing in specialists from out of town. However it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PALS training prepares staff to recognize and intervene in pediatric cardiovascular arrest or other emergency presentations. The goal is to develop a high performance team who can apply systematic approaches to the assessment and treatment of seriously ill or injured children.
With the generous support of donors in our community the PR Hospital Foundation was able to purchase six pieces of major medical equipment for acute care in the hospital in 2019 totalling $169,614. The equipment shown here went to the maternity department where the medical team there is now better prepared to care for multiple seriously ill mothers and babies until transport can be provided to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
With the change of our society demographic profile our acute care facility faces, at times, challenges around overcapacity and long wait times. For many patients the Emergency Department is the place where they are first admitted to hospital and where both of these issues are most obvious and concerning. Patients without a personal doctor may have no other option but to go to the hospital emergency room for care. If you’re admitted to a ward for further acute care you may find over-crowding there also. Perhaps the patient in the bed next to you has completed the acute care phase of treatment and is waiting to be transferred to a different care setting. Every day your health care team works hard to assure your quality of care, regardless of these challenges.
The medical community’s term for the issue of wait times and over-crowding is Patient Access and Flow. This is a major issue for hospitals all over Canada. Here in Powell River significant attention and resources are being spent to find local solutions to the problem. Kim Markel, Manager of Acute Services, has recently been involved in a multi-site project that looked at the issues of patient access to the right care in the right location and developed multiple approaches to addressing the issue. The project was guided by her participation in a quality improvement training program provided by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement which the PR Hospital Foundation supported.
Solutions to the problem are complex and varied. One priority for Powell River is to increase the number of available home health care workers. Melie de Champlain, our hospital’s Director of the Coastal Community of Care, and the local campus of Vancouver Island University recently partnered to sponsor a special class for home health care workers. Fifteen people are enrolled and they will graduate and begin working in December 2019. This will mean more people at home will be provided with support to enable them to stay longer with their loved ones in the community.
The Powell River Hospital Foundation is raising funds to update the hospital’s maternity room. To date, the Foundation has committed to purchase two new infant incubators, an obstetrical ultrasound unit and an electronic fetal signs monitor. The old incubator, in the photo above, has been in service since 1996.
The Foundation funds equipment and training.
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PR Hospital Foundation
5000 Joyce Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 5R3
(604) 485-3211 Ext 4349.
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