The First Open Heart Society of B.C. gave the Victoria Hospitals Foundation a $50,000 donation for cardiac care at Royal Jubilee Hospital Tuesday.
The donation will support the purchase of a sophisticated piece of equipment for Royal Jubilee Hospital called a Cell Saver. This technology is used during open-heart and vascular surgeries to counter blood loss. It recovers the blood a patient loses, and instead of being discarded, it’s given back to the patient after being cleansed and filtered.
“It is comforting for our patients to know that their own blood is being returned to them,” says Allen Davenport, a perfusionist with Island Health.
“We are so grateful for the longtime support of the First Open Heart Society and their efforts to improve cardiac care on Vancouver Island. Their generous gifts have helped so many people in our communities have access to the leading-edge cardiac technology that ultimately saves their lives,” said Cathy McIntyre, board chair of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
The leading cause of death in Canada is heart disease. Royal Jubilee Hospital is the referral centre for cardiac care for all of Vancouver Island.
Last year, Royal Jubilee Hospital saw more than 3,000 cardiac inpatients – more than 50 per cent of these patients were transferred from outside Greater Victoria.
Patients from throughout the region count on the hospital for its diagnostic tools, treatment capacity, and the skill and dedication of the world-class Heart Health team. Nurses and doctors selected for the Heart Health team require extensive training to work with advanced equipment and special lifesaving drugs. A clinical teaching unit provides a forum for caregivers with diverse expertise to share their skills and knowledge. Patients receive state-of-the-art cardiac care and rehabilitation to regain their strength, endurance and confidence so they can embark on a new, heart-healthy life.
“We are strongly committed to supporting cardiac care through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation,” said Doris Nicholson, president of First Open Heart Society.
For the convenience of out-of-town guests the society operates Heart House, a low-cost bed and breakfast within walking distance of Royal Jubilee Hospital.