Kelowna General Hospital campaigns for closer to home treatments for heart disorders

‘Here at KGH’ will complete the hospitals available resources for advanced heart rhythm services

“Right here at KGH.”

Its not what Okanagan patients often hear when looking for advanced treatments for a numerous amount of heart rhythm conditions. Usually, they’re directed to hospitals in the Lower Mainland.

But now, if the $7 million campaign put in place by the KGH Foundation is successful, more people will hear that phrase and will be able to access electrophysiology at the hospital.

“The electrophysiology services are the last component in the cardiac program here at KGH,” said KGH Foundation CEO Doug Rankmore during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

“The desire to have a full service cardiac program here probably started in the 1980s. The $7 million campaign will outfit the electrophysiology lab, and completing the cardiac program is a real milestone for KGH.”

Currently, only basic cardiac rhythm services, such as medications and procedures to treat faster heart rhythms, pacemakers to treat slower heart rhythms and an atrial fibrillation clinic are available to KGH patients.

Patients who require advanced treatments, such as electrophysiology, must travel to Victoria or Vancouver to get the treatment they need, and on days where snow closes highways, that proves difficult.

Cardiac rhythm disorders, also know as arrhythmia, are projected to be the leading cause of death in Canada by 2020, according to the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada.

RELATED: Decision on fate of Eagle Pass lookout expected end of February

“At the cardiac program we’ve done a lot of work over the years trying to bring advanced services to the people here in Kelowna, and we’re trying to fill in that last remaining gap,” said Dr. Frank Halperin, cardiology medical director. “Before, a patient would wait for weeks, now we’ll be able to provide the services right here locally. It will happen faster, it will happen quicker, and it will be easier for the family, and it will be closer to home, so it will really be a win-win for everybody.”

As a regional hospital, KGH serves one million residents from across B.C.’s interior. According to the hospital, the new lab could provide access to life-saving therapies to over 450 hearth rhythm patients a year, and will directly help local patients who could wait up to eight weeks for transfers to the other hospitals.

“The community has been unbelievably supportive to the cardiac services (at KGH) over the years, they’ve helped build the buildings. It’s a hardship for people, and having these services close to home will make a world of difference,” said Halperin.

The new electrophyisology treatment labs are projected for a April 2019 beginning.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read