CHARITABLE donors are providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in new equipment and technology this spring for Royal Columbian Hospital as part of an annual fund created five years ago to support some of the hospital’s greatest needs.
In partnership with Fraser Health and with the commitments of donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, $538,000 in new funding has been announced. It’s the fifth year in a row for the Major Equipment Fund, which has made available more than $3.1 million since its inception. This year’s investments in patient care are benefitting a number of areas throughout Royal Columbian.
An estimated one in eight Canadian women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. To confirm more quickly that a breast lesion has been surgically removed by the surgeon at Royal Columbian Hospital, the Foundation has funded the purchase of a specimen radiography unit to be located right in the operating room. This will allow the surgeon to receive confirmation almost immediately and avoid the need to transport the removed tissue to another location in the hospital for testing. It also supports the recent introduction of new and donor-funded technology that uses tiny metal radioactive “seeds” about the size of a grain of rice that help guide the surgeon to precisely locate the tumour.
Lumbar disc herniations and spinal stenosis are commonly encountered and frequently disabling conditions seen by neurosurgeons at Royal Columbian Hospital, which is the neurosurgery centre for the entire health region. With donors’ help, the Foundation has funded a tool that gives surgeons access to the spine with less trauma than the traditional approach. The Minimal Exposure Tubular Retractor helps minimize damage to muscle tissue during this minimally invasive surgery. Patients can be discharged back home earlier and return to work and their daily activities sooner.
Royal Columbian is among the province’s busiest hospitals for births, with close to 3,000 deliveries each year. This includes births as early as 23 weeks gestation, with care provided in the hospital’s nationally recognized neonatal intensive care unit. To help continue to provide the highest level of care to the smallest of our patients, the Foundation has funded the purchase of four new infant warmers to add to the available fleet. The equipment helps regulate the body temperatures of newborns using radiant heat and is a one-stop care station, effectively providing an entire workstation and care-bed for the baby.
Hyperbilirubinemia is common in newborns. A build up of bilirubin in the blood causes yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin, called jaundice. While low levels of bilirubin are not usually a concern, large amounts may cause seizures and brain damage. BILI-THERAPY Pad Type delivers effective phototherapy for the treatment from the back of the newborn. The Foundation has provided funding for two of these devices, which allow the baby to breastfeed or cuddle without interruption to the phototherapy.
To help in cases where an IV needs to be put in the arm of an infant, the Foundation has funded the purchase of a high-resolution portable ultrasound. The IVIZ ultrasound system helps to identify the appropriate vascular access for intravenous catheter insertion on infants and children. The equipment can easily be held in the palm of a hand and helps to minimize the chance of multiple insertions for long duration intravenous antibiotics and fluid.
Dietitians are an essential part of the health care team in critical care and provide nutrition support in the Intensive Care Unit for mechanically ventilated patients using artificial nutrition. Donors have helped to fund the current ‘gold standard’ equipment to accurately determine the energy requirements of these patients. The indirect calorimetry machine helps ensure patients are receiving adequate nutrition and has been used in the management of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic in other hospitals. The equipment will help improve outcomes and reduce ventilator days and infection rates in critical care.