1580 Pembroke Street Victoria, BC V8R 1W2


In The News


AED Group Photo
Doris Nicholson, President of First Open heart Society Of BC (L) is pictured with Allen Davenport, a Perfusionist with Island Health, and Cathy McIntyre, Board Chair of VHF

Huge thanks to The First Open Heart Society of BC for making a $50,000 donation to fund a leading-edge piece of cardiac equipment at Royal Jubilee. The cell saver, pictured here, is used during open-heart and vascular surgeries to counter blood loss. It recovers the blood a patient loses, and instead of being discarded, it's given back to the patient after being cleansed and filtered. It’s very comforting for patients to know their own blood is being returned to them. Since 1980, the First Open Heart Society has donated more than $706,000 to Cardiac Care in Victoria. We are so grateful for their generous support over the years!




Cell Saver Photo

Presentation by the Town of Sidney for the defibrillators that were funded by the First Open Heart Society and the Rotary Club of Sidney by the Sea.

From left: Sidney by the Sea Rotary Club president Hein Moes, Terry Riley president of the First Open Heart Society, Sidney Deputy Fire Chief Brett Mickkelson, manager of the SHOAL Activity Centre Judy Wiggins, Sidney councillor Kenny Podmore and Sidney councillor/acting mayor Steve Price.

Steven Heywood Photo/Peninsula News Review/Black Press. June 2013

CARDIAC SERVICES UPDATE FROM VICTORIA (VIHA)

At our Victoria Chapter meeting on Sunday, March 10th, 2013, we had the pleasure of welcoming our guest speaker, Catherine Hodgins, Director, Heart Health and Adult Intensive Care at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Catherine presented an informative up-date on the new services/procedures available. We felt the information we received was of importance to all our members and so we share the following:

Tele-Cardiology:

Since the spring of 2012, Tele-Cardiology consultations have brought care closer to home for patients and have also improved access to specialized cardiac teams for patients who would normally travel long distances for face-to-face consultations. Tele-Cardiology is easy to use for cardiac patients and health care team members, and provides an experience as satisfying as an in-person consultation. A digital stethoscope provides real-time patient assessment that can be transmitted and interpreted through telephone or over the internet. Cardiology and Internal Medicine specialists at the Heart Function Clinics located in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Campbell River can assess heart sounds of patients located at one of 11 remote sites including Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Gold River, and Tofino. While 31 patients have been followed since the launch, an estimated 300 patients can be followed annually through this service. Other sites in B.C. are also introducing this technology.

Tele-Home Monitoring:

Heart Health is collaborating with Home and Community Care and Information Management and Technology to increase the use of tele-home monitoring for congestive heart failure patients across VIHA. Tele-home monitoring enables patients to remotely transmit information about their weight and blood pressure to their Home and Community Care Nurse, providing reassurance that changes in their chronic condition can be identified and managed by their care provider. Since the introduction of tele-home monitoring, 255 patients have used the technology, and with additional monitors available this year, more patients will be able to be monitored in their own home. Through the use of this technology, patients have enhanced their self management skills, length of stay in hospital has been decreased, and readmissions to hospital have been reduced. Results from a pilot in 2011 showed a 61% reduction in hospital admissions, a 75% reduction in length of stay, and a 65% reduction in emergency department visits. The work to expand tele-home monitoring is part of a provincial initiative and VIHA has been asked to lead the development of the care pathway for this work.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation:

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is an emerging technology that is a less invasive alternative to open heart surgery. This procedure involves insertion of a collapsible aortic valve through a catheter guided into the heart through an artery in the leg. Once the catheter reaches the heart, a balloon expands to position the new valve in place.

Up until July 2012, when VIHA launched a TAVI program, the procedure was only available in the province at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. TAVI is offered to patients whose clinical conditions deem them not a candidate for open heart surgery, which is consistent with provincial criteria. To date, twelve procedures have been completed. The procedure takes half the time of a traditional open heart surgery procedure, and patients are typically discharged home 48 hours after the procedure, whereas patients typically stay for five to seven days following open heart surgery. VIHA has been commended provincially for its work to introduce this successful program.

Coming:

By the end of March of this year, VIHA will have the capability to monitor pacemakers and ICDs remotely. In partnership with the companies who make these devices, VIHA will be launching remote monitoring in Central and North Island. The first company to launch is Medtronic, then St. Jude, followed by Boston Scientific. This program will reduce the number of visits to Victoria that out-of-town patients are required to take on an annual basis as their device can be assessed and monitored through telephone line.

(With thanks to Catherine Hodgins for sharing her notes)


IMPORTANT ADVANCE CARE PLANNING INFORMATION


At our recent General Meeting of the First Open Heart Society in Victoria, our Guest Speaker, Dawn Dompierre, Advance Care Planning RN, Seniors Integrated Health Network at VIHA provided an Advance Care Planning presentation which included new legislation effective September 1, 2011.

Advance Care Planning is a process of reflection and communication, a time for you to reflect on your values and wishes, and to let others know your future health and personal care preferences in the event that you become incapable of consenting to or refusing treatment or other care.

The new 52 page Advance Care Planning Guide titled:

My Voice, Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment, Advance Care Planning Guide.

This document contains everything you need to complete your own care plan.

It is currently available on line and can be located one of the following ways for you to print:

Place a copy of your important health care information (examples: Advance care planning documents, Representation agreements, current medication list, do not resuscitate order from your G.P., etc.) in an envelope on your fridge as paramedics will only look on the fridge for this information.

More information on Advance Care Planning can be found at the following websites:


More News

October 14, 2011 - A recent article in the Times-Colonist newspaper will be of interest to people living up-Island.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority announced plans to purchase a Magnetic Imaging Resonance (MRI) unit that will rotate through communities on Vancouver Island.

Currently there are only two cities on the Island with MRI units; Victoria and Nanaimo. The Health Authority will send the new unit on rotations to Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Port Alberni and Duncan.

This new service is expected to be in place by the Spring or Summer of 2012.

The full story can be found here: Times-Colonist Article on Mobile MRI Unit.