Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

November 24, 2006 09:00 ET

High-Tech Equipment Booms to Improve Safety and Efficiency in Royal Columbian Hospital's New Intensive Care Unit

"Be A Lifesaver" Campaign Raising $1.6 million for New ICU

NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 24, 2006) - Royal Columbian Hospital's new intensive care unit (ICU) will showcase an innovative intravenous (IV) transport system, the first of its kind in North America, which will significantly increase quality of care, safety and operating efficiencies at the hospital.

When the new ICU opens this spring, it will include a customized IV transport system incorporated into 16 state-of-the-art adjustable ceiling-mounted equipment booms installed in each ICU patient room. The ceiling booms with moveable arms are designed to support high-tech equipment that would normally be placed on the floor or at the head of the bed such as IV pumps, tube feeding pumps, inter-cerebral pressure monitoring devices, pulse oximeters, which measure the blood's oxygen levels, and flat-panel monitors. Each ceiling-mounted boom will have a removable IV pole which can be quickly transferred and docked to the bed when transporting patients. This special feature was designed with input from the ICU clinical team. Typically, it can take upwards of 40 minutes to prepare a critically ill patient for transport.

"ICU patients often require a number of diagnostic tests such as MRI or CT scan and this feature will save a tremendous amount of time preparing patients for transport in the hospital," said Karen Watson, Health Services Manager, ICU. "These ceiling booms will really improve access to the bedside enabling ICU staff to provide safer and more efficient patient care, especially in emergency response situations."

Funding for the new ceiling-mounted booms and other equipment is being raised through the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation's (RCHF) "Be a Lifesaver" holiday fundraising campaign which was launched this month. The Fraser Health Authority committed $6 million towards the establishment of a new ICU in order to meet the increasing demand for critical care in the largest and fastest growing health region in the province. The RCHF has committed to raising the remaining $1.6 million for the ICU throughout the holiday season.

The new ceiling-mounted equipment booms will eliminate the clutter of free-standing equipment around the bedside leaving the ICU floor free of power cords, communication cables and other hazards thereby making the unit safer. The booms will enable medical staff to rotate the equipment rapidly with great precision, improving their maneuverability around the beds and response to patient needs. With no heavy equipment to lift, Watson anticipates work-related back injuries in the ICU will decline significantly.

When completed in spring 2007, RCH's new ICU will be over 10,000 square feet in size, almost three times larger than the current ICU. The unit will accommodate 16 patient beds, each in a private room. The ICU will also include four new private family waiting rooms. Donors are also helping to fund additional equipment such as ventilators, infusion pumps and ceiling lifts.

About Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is an independent charitable organization which raises millions of dollars every year to fund priority equipment needs and enhancements to patient care at Royal Columbian Hospital. RCH is both a community hospital and the major trauma centre and referral hospital for the region. Approximately 1.5 million people from Burnaby to Boston Bar depend on Royal Columbian to provide highly specialized care for major trauma, cardiac and neurosurgery, renal treatment, high risk maternity and newborn intensive care. More than 1,000 patients suffering from critical illness or injury fight for their life every year in RCH's intensive care unit.


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