Thanks to donations to our five hospital Foundations, GBHS has recently purchased 35 new defibrillators to care for patients at all six GBHS hospitals. The total cost of the purchase was $703,000, all of which was raised by the Foundations.
“Every year across the GBHS hospitals we have about 125 Code Blues, which means someone is experiencing a potentially fatal heart issue,” said Sunil Mehta, Chief of Emergency Medicine at the GBHS Owen Sound Hospital. “The defibrillators are a critical piece of equipment used to save people’s lives every day.”
Of the 35 new defibrillators, eight are transportable, and will be used on patients during transfer to another facility. This is particularly important in our rural hospitals, where patients in critical situations may need to be taken to a larger centre for urgent care. Portable defibrillators allow staff to monitor the patient’s heart rate, and provide live saving support while on the road, if needed.
Defibrillators are used to apply electricity to a patient’s heart during a cardiac arrest, which in simple terms means to re-start the heart. They double as a temporary pacemaker to keep a patient’s heart going until they can get to another hospital, or into surgery. The defibrillator is also used to correct arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). Patients with atrial fibrillation often end up in the ER, and the defibrillator will be used to re-set the heartbeat.
“We are very grateful to the Foundations for making this equipment a priority, and to the donors who supported this vital fundraising initiative,” said Gary Sims, GBHS President and CEO.