Today, surgery seems almost commonplace. But it’s far from routine as anyone who works in the operating rooms at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will tell you.
“There is always risk with surgery. That’s why we work on reducing the risk every single day to make surgery safer for patients,” said Christine Erickson, Perioperative Manager.
This summer, many committed donors are helping with that goal, too. Surgical Services put together a list of new operating room equipment that would help make each of the 15,000 surgeries at our Hospital safer and faster with better results for our patients. These generous donors are helping bring all of the new and upgraded technology on that list to Thunder Bay.
For example, there is a new, minimally invasive tool used in brain surgery that removes tumours using sound waves – similar to how your sonic toothbrush works. Remarkably, it can do all this without damaging healthy brain cells. Upgraded high-definition cameras and monitors guide surgeons through delicate blood vessels to the tumour and give sharper pictures so surgeons can see when the entire tumour has been removed.
“Every time you can make a smaller incision or avoid healthy tissue, recovery is faster and there is less chance of infection,” Erickson said. “Overall, that leads to better results for the patient.”
The surgical team also requires new dental equipment including a digital X-ray machine. Our Hospital provides specialized dental services for patients who need it. Not only will the new equipment replace ageing drills, the equipment will help make dental visits faster and less stressful for patients.
You might not think of surgical lighting as “high-tech” but today’s new LED lighting systems are miles ahead of the old halogens. Because they are LED, they are much cooler and use less energy. They also feature a new technology that provides “shadowless” light no matter where the surgical team is standing. And, just like smart bulbs at home, the lighting system can be controlled through one central console, in this case at the nurses’ station. Donors are helping outfit all of the operating rooms with these 21st century lights.
“Surgery involves complicated procedures – it takes a highly trained surgical team,” said Debra Everts, an OR nurse at our Hospital. “But we also need the right tools. The people who are helping us purchase this equipment will make a huge impact on patient care.”
In a way, donors are team members too, even if they aren’t physically standing in the operating room. They are helping equip our surgical teams with new cutting-edge equipment to reduce the risk of surgery and to improve patient care. These tools are every bit as important as the people who use them. Thanks to everyone who donated so far!
Together, For Better Surgery!
You can improve surgical care by funding cutting-edge equipment for the Operating Room. Donate at: healthsciencesfoundation.ca/OR or call 345-4673.