Auxiliary’s efforts help save lives

Emergency physicians at Shuswap Lake General Hospital are breathing easier these days – and so are some of their patients.

Practice: Nurse Julie Langdeau and Dr. Richard Currie demonstrate how the Glidescope helps to open the airway of Andrea Townsend in the emergency room at the Shuswap Lake General.

Emergency physicians at Shuswap Lake General Hospital are breathing easier these days – and so are some of their patients.

Thanks to the Shuswap Lake Health-Care Auxiliary, an $18,000 intubation glidescope is making it easier for ER doctors to secure an airway when someone can’t breathe on their own, says ER head Dr. Richard Currie.

“This is the scariest thing we have to do,” he says. “If someone has lost their airway, you really only have 30 seconds or a minute at most before they pass away.”

Whereas the old instrument required doctors to push the tongue out of the way and find a patient’s airways with their own eyes, the glidescope with a camera on the tip, can slide easily past the tongue, projecting a bigger and much clearer picture of the anatomy at the back of the mouth onto a screen.

Relieved to have the new life-saving technology that has already proven itself, Currie says that in about five to 10 per cent of the population their anatomy is such that getting a visual without the glidescope is impossible.

“The community deserves credit, they’ve worked hard, and now we need to use what they’ve provided us with to give the best care possible.”

The hospital’s emergency room is not the only area to receive a large helping hand from the auxiliary.

Staff in the operating room have a new $8,300 blanket and liquid warming oven.

“OR was very happy to receive this oven, which was much more useful than their old one, having provision for warming liquids and blankets,” says auxiliary president Barb Angrignon, noting her band of dedicated volunteers work hard throughout the year to help improve health care at the hospital.

“Equipment is purchased for the hospital from monies earned in our various fundraising events, garage, bake and book sales, silent auctions, raffles, gift wrap etc., that our volunteer group puts on at various times of the year.”


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