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The Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation

Newsletter • Fall 2009

A Look Inside the Day Surgery Unit Jim* arrives about noon at the Day Surgery Department in anticipation of knee surgery. He is a little nervous, not sure of what to expect. Although he is a little anxious today, his concerns are lightened when he meets the Day Surgery staff and he is reassured that he is in good hands. Over 6,000 patients a year flow through the Dartmouth General Day Surgery Unit (a specialized central facility for care and treatment of patients undergoing minor and intermediate surgical procedures). While most patients will go home the same day, some are admitted

IN THIS ISSUE Day Surgery........................ 1 Innovations in Care.............4 Equipment Campaign.........5 Your Donations................... 5 H1N1..................................6 Auxiliary..............................7

(Continued on P3)

Day Surgery Team include Beryle Wylde, Bonnie Wright, Cecile MacKay and Jarek Siadaczka. (Not all of the staff was available for this photo).

after more complex surgeries, such as hysterectomies, hip or knee replacements. Those patients, who will be admitted after surgery attended a same day admissions clinic the previous week and at that time were familiarized with their procedure, had their medical history taken and met with an anesthesiologist. Their medical information is entered into the computer system and a medication reconciliation report (a profile of current medication) verified by a pharmacist is conducted on

each patient to ensure medication combinations are compatible and are not too strong. The Day Surgery Unit was expanded in 2003 and was designed in consideration of patients needs for privacy and comfort. It has 18 pre and post operative beds with ample space, a private waiting area for friends and family and private changing rooms. “Our unit now provides much more space for patients and staff. It allows staff (Continued on page 3)

InTouch • FALL 2009

Executive Director’s Message

InTouch is published semi-annually for friends and donors of the Dartmouth General Hospital.

Board of Directors 2009 Executive

Michael Wild, Chair Clifford A. Moir, Chair Emeritus Mary MacPhee, Secretary Bill MacMaster, Treasurer


Kim Conrad Arlene Frizzell, Auxiliary Representative Chris Giannou Dean Hartman Todd Howlett, M.D. Chief of Staff Craig Meredith Shirley Morash Patrick O’Regan Fred Smithers Jamie Thomson


Zita Longobardi, Executive Director Nicol Clarke, Administration Lisa Cottreau, Special Events All inquiries may be directed to:

Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation 325 Pleasant Street Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4G8 Tel: 465-8560 Fax: 465-1129 Email: Visit our website at:


Philanthropy built the Dartmouth General in 1976 and over the last thirty three years, philanthropy continues to play a major role to provide priority medical equipment. I am excited to let you know that the Axiom Luminos dRF (a digital imaging machine that performs both fluoroscopy and radiography tests with a single system) and a new ultrasound arrived in the Diagnostic Imaging Department in September. And what a difference it has made for patients and staff! Procedures are faster, images are clearer and wait times have improved. The DI department has been upgraded with a number of new equipment items over the past couple of years because of your

continued generous support. Physicians and staff are now better able to treat patients and I assure you of their heartfelt appreciation. The need continues. Medical technology has progressed exponentially in recent years. Gander at your personal technological devices (cell phones, computers, cameras) to appreciate how rapidly these items become obsolete and the increasing price tags of new ones. The same is true for medical equipment, much of which is hundreds of thousands of dollars and more. Our current campaign is to fund a new laser for the treatment of kidney stones. The Dartmouth General provides tier 1 urology coverage within Capital Health. Being able to treat patients with the most up to date technique is paramount. Your support enables us to provide a high level of care for you, your family, friends and the community.

Shirley Barber v We honour the memory of Shirley Barber who worked tirelessly on behalf of the Dartmouth General Hospital, as a long time member of the Foundation Board of Directors and the DGH Auxiliary.

Please check our website at for all the latest news!

FALL 2009 •


(Continued from cover)

to provide their standard of high quality care,” says Chris Underhill, Charge Nurse. The unit opens at 6:30 a.m. to prepare for the first patients and operations begin at approximately 7:45 a.m. A wide variety of procedures may be performed on any day from arthroscopy (knee and shoulder scopes) to hernias, gallbladder, gynecological procedures to dental, nasal or cystocopy procedures. No matter the procedure, the day surgery staff are there to care for you. Jim checks in with unit clerks, Angela Jakeman or Lynn Kane to determine if all tests have been conducted and paperwork is completed. From there he changes into a hospital gown and meets with a nurse and the anesthesiologist to discuss the procedure. All the staff have worked in day surgery a long time. Jarek Siadaczka and Bonnie Wright began working in the unit when it was expanded seven years ago. Beryle and Cecile however worked in the previous unit. “ I love meeting and talking to patients” says Beryle “and day surgery also has great hours, she says with a smile. It

Beryle Wylde enters patient information into computer system.

is 1 p.m. and Jim is wheeled down to the OR. After his operation and an acute care recovery phase, he is taken back into the Day Surgery Unit. “For more complex procedures patients will be admitted for observation and pain control; however with most procedures patients will go home the same day”, say Beryle. After a few hours of recovery time Jim is leaving the hospital provided with education and discharge information about what to expect as his recovery continues.

He is feeling fine, able to walk on his own (although Jarek wheels him to the front door) and happy with the whole experience. OR/Day Surgery Unit Manager Sherry Binns confirms that Day Surgery is a busy department; however, the very capable team meets the needs of patients and their families before, during, and after their procedures. *Name is changed to respect privacy.

Generous Donation Mrs. Sharon O’Leary presents a contribution to the hospital palliative care program on behalf of the Catholic Women’s League of St. Clements Parish Dartmouth. Gratefully accepting the generous donation from Mrs. O’Leary is Angela McFadden, Palliative Care Coordinator.


InTouch • FALL 2009

The Innovations in Care Program The Innovations in Care Program is a Foundation sponsored initiative which develops the role of the Dartmouth General Hospital as a centre of excellence in the provision of patient, integrated, community –based care. Projects are evidence-based, innovative and sustainable. Knowledge acquired through the projects is shared with others. One of the successful projects during the 2009-2010 fiscal year is: The use of bedside ultrasound to guide to the insertion of peripheral venous catheters in the emergency department The Dartmouth General Hospital Emergency Department has become a nationally recognized centre for education in emergency department ultrasound and many physicians from our area and across the country come to the DGH emergency department for fellowship training to develop this important skill. This training is possible because of the support and active participation of nursing and paramedic staff. The objective of this project is to educate the emergency department nurses and paramedics to use portable bedside ultrasound to guide the insertion of peripheral venous catheters in patients where insertion is difficult. The use of ultrasound guidance will increase efficiency in providing important fluids and medications and result in less discomfort for patients. In many of patients, IVs are essential to the patient’s management and any delay in obtaining an IV can have serious outcomes. However, even for experienced practitioners, it can sometimes be very difficult to insert the

IV because of dehydration, drug use, body habitus or other anatomical variations. Practitioners rely on visual inspection and palpation to determine placement of an IV catheter. Unfortunately, because of the factors mentioned above, inspection and palpation may not reveal a usable vein. Ultrasound guidance has been utilized in many institutions across North America to identify a vein. However, it is not a technique that is widely used in Canada and even fewer institutions involve nursing and paramedic staff. “The use of bedside ultrasound in the emergency department will become standard of care in our country in the next few years. At the DGH emergency department we have already achieved this goal. We have successfully implemented and utilized emergency ultrasound over the past five years and have been disseminating this skill to others in our region and across the country. This has made the DGH a nationallyrenowned center in the use and teaching of emergency department ultrasound. With the introduction of nursing and paramedic use of bedside ultrasound to guide IV insertion, the Dartmouth General will maintain its place on the forefront of innovation and excellence in patient care. We will be a place where others in our hospital, our region and our country can continue to look for guidance and education in this cutting edge modality.” - Chuck Wurster, MD, CCFP(Em), CEUS

Holmium Laser Lithotripsy Anyone who has had a kidney stone knows just how painful it can be. About 5 percent of women and 10 percent of men have a kidney stone

once in a life time. Every day patients come through our emergency department who need treatment for the management of stones. The

“There are many different types of lasers used in medicine and for kidney stone work; a holmium laser is commonly used. The laser technology is versatile and can be used for the endoscopic management of benign prostatic hyperplasia, ureteral/urethral strictures and tumors. This minimally-invasive treatment usually requires general anesthesia and is generally done on a day surgery basis” - Wallace T’ien, MD 4

Dartmouth General provides tier 1 urology coverage within Capital Health. Being able to treat patients with the most up to date technique is paramount. Lithotripsy, from the Greek meaning ‘stone crusher’, has revolutionized kidney stone treatment and the use of laser energy is uniquely suited to treat kidney stones safely and effectively.

FALL 2009 •


Current Equipment Campaign Holmium Laser Lithotripsy The doctor uses an endoscope (a tube introduced into the body, via the urinary tract) in order to get close to the stone. A small fiber is guided up the endoscope so that the tip (that emits the laser energy) can come in contact with the stone, the intense light energy breaks the stone into increasingly smaller pieces, which can be extracted or flushed

out. Because of the type of laser energy no other tissue is affected. Benefits • Immediate relief of symptoms • In most cases, you may go home the same day • Faster recovery with fewer complications • Works well on all types of stones • A high success rate after first treatment

“The Homium laser is a fundamental tool for urology in Canadian hospitals, because it is a highly effective procedure for patients.” - Dr. Todd Howlett Chief of Staff

Your Donations At Work


Your donations over the past year have purchased the following items: Hospital Beds (18) Ventilator dFR X Ray Unit Ultrasound Unit 2 Pulse generators for ICU 1 Ceiling Lift for TCU Cardiac Recovery Chair Whirlpool Fluid Warmer – OR Porto2vent-CPAP Oxygen Del System Gyn Light IV Poles Blanket warmer

$130,000 50,000 750,000 100,000/125,000 Capital Health 5,000 7,000 3,000 6,500 6,400 2,200 3,000 1,400 5,000

Presented by MacPhee Pontiac and Nubody’s/Goodlife Friday, April 23, 2010

Presented by Conrad Brothers Limited Saturday, June 5, 2010 5

InTouch • FALL 2009

You can play an active role in staying healthy and preventing the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. Follow these simple steps: Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses. Wash before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using the washroom, after coughing and sneezing and after touching surfaces that may have been contaminated. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective in killing viruses.

Keep your hands away from your face

In most cases, the H1N1 virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.

Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand

If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands.

Talk about staying healthy.

Get immunized

Encourage others to follow these simple steps. If you have children, be a good role model. Teach them to count to 20 while washing their hands and show them how to cover up when they cough or sneeze.

Get your H1N1 flu shot.

Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected

Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces with normal household disinfectants can help. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours.

Stay healthy

Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong.

If you get sick, stay home

If you think you have the flu and are otherwise healthy, you should stay home from school or work until your symptoms are gone. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider.

To find out more, visit or call 1


© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2009 • ISBN# 978-1-100-13807-7 • CAT# HP40-46/2009E-PDF

H1N1 Flu Prevention Checklist

Notes ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) (TTY 1-800-926-9105)

FALL 2009 •


Shop in the Gift Shop and Support the Auxiliary When you shop in the Gift Shop you are supporting the Auxiliary’s good causes. This year the Auxiliary purchased three Crash Cart Defibrillators (an electrical device with two paddles that are placed on the chest, which discharges electricity through the heart to restore a functional heart rhythm). Additionally, they will honour a commitment for the echocardiography lab with a gift of $42,000.

STUDENT CO-OP PROGRAM The DGH Auxiliary is pleased to announce that a student co-op program has been planned with four students, two from Sackville High and two from Dartmouth High, who will work in the hospital every Thursday. The start of the program has been delayed due to H1N1 but will hopefully begin in January 2010. The students will receive credit for their work and will rotate between the dialysis unit, the pharmacy, day surgery, diagnostic imaging department and transitional care. This is a wonderful opportunity for students who are interested in careers in the medical field to familiarize themselves with both a hospital setting and working with patients. As well, it will acquaint the students with the numerous career opportunities available in medicine. We look forward to welcoming these students to the Dartmouth General Hospital.





Best Reasons to Give Enrich People’s Lives Every day, people are helped and lives are enriched by the work of charities and foundations.

Leave a Memory Choosing to leave a gift from the heart brings meaning, dignity and purpose to a life well lived.

Provide Support Financial assistance is essential to support and sustain charitable work.

A Contribution for the Future Personal giving can help contribute to the sustainability of not for profit organizations and charities. 7

your support! Thank You very much for an saving the life of Helping us today could me y. a loved one in our communit

“Yes, I want to support the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation for priority medical equipment” Option 1

Enclosed is my cheque or money order for $_______ payable to: Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation.

Option 2

Please charge $_______ to my credit card. Visa Mastercard AMEX Card Number:__________________________________________________ Expiry:_________ ________________________________________________________________________________ SIGNATURE (TO PERMIT TRANSACTION)

Option 3

I’d prefer to pay in monthly installments. Please deduct $__________ from my bank account on the 1st or 15th of each month for _______ months or until further notice. I’ve attached a ‘voided’ cheque. Ms. Mrs. Mr. Dr. Other Name (please print) ____________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Postal Code___________________ email (optional)________________

Our Caring Hands Are There When You Need Them! A Tax receipt will be issued promptly. Charitable registration #BN 12245 5611 RR00011 Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation 325 Pleasant Street Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4G8 Tel. (902) 465.8560/8531

Agreement No.40028771

In Touch Fall 2009  

The Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation's semi annual newsletter

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