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Code Blue Emergency Equipment

Matthew Kwok

Dr. Matthew Kwok is an Emergency Physician at Richmond Hospital and Chair of the Code Blue Team.

They are words nobody wants to hear in a hospital: “Code Blue.” But when a patient suffers a cardiac arrest, those words are broadcast throughout the hospital. It’s like hearing alarm bells or the siren of an ambulance. It’s an emergency. Seconds count because a life hangs in the balance. Having properly trained staff to respond on a moment’s notice is essential. So is having the latest state-of-the-art equipment nearby.

Code Blue is international standard code for cardiac and respiratory arrest where the patient goes into cardiopulmonary arrest and needs emergency resuscitation in order to survive.

Code Blue emergencies can strike at any time and in any area of the hospital. Last year there were a total of 37 Code Blue emergencies at Richmond Hospital. With dramatically increasing numbers of patients and emergency visits, at the current rate, Richmond Hospital will see 41 Code Blue emergencies this year.

Defibrillators: $297,000; 11 required @ $27,000 each  Left to raise: $270,000

Richmond Hospital urgently needs to upgrade its aging, obsolete defibrillators, some of which are more than 10 years old. In order to ensure the fastest response time for patients, Richmond Hospital’s Code Committee has moved to standardize all units across the hospital with the same make and model to ensure doctors need only be trained and familiar with a single unit wherever it may be to be able to focus all time on saving a life. 

Philips M3535A Heart Steart MRX Code Blue

When a patient experiences cardiac arrest or stops breathing, and a Code Blue emergency is broadcast over the PA system, Richmond Hospital’s Code Blue team needs to respond immediately.

Emergency doctors and nurses rush to the patient’s location bringing vital, lifesaving medical equipment and medicine to resuscitate the patient. 

To save precious seconds, Code Blue equipment is stationed throughout Richmond Hospital. Defibrillators are one of those vital lifesaving pieces of medical equipment that emergency physicians use as part of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when a patient no longer has a pulse or the patient’s heart beats irregularly. A defibrillator allows the physicians to diagnose the cardiac rhythm and then determine the voltage and timing for the electrical shock necessary to the heart for resuscitation.

Colon cancer screening program

Colonoscopes: $270,000; 6 required @ $45,000 each 
Left to raise: $260,000

Video image processor: $70,000

With early screening, colonoscopes help the gastroenterologist to view the colon and remove smaller pre-cancerous polyps, if present, on the spot, sparing the patient from painful, more invasive surgery, and resulting in faster recovery times.

In order to increase our capacity and efficiency to provide more colon cancer screening services, Richmond Hospital urgently needs new colonoscopes and a new more advanced video image processor system to capture and view the digital images in High Definition. 

Together the new, more sophisticated processor and colonoscopes provide improved visualization with greater detail and new functionality to detect and treat polyps that lead to colon cancer.

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MEDICAL IMAGING

Portable Digital X-ray Machine
$200,000; Left to raise $48,000

When patients are too sick to walk or be moved, sometimes our medical imaging equipment must go to the bedside of the patient. Whether it’s to examine broken bones in the Emergency Department or take an x-ray of an unconscious patient in the Intensive Care Unit or examine the chest and lungs of newborn babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to see why breathing is so difficult, a portable unit is essential to provide necessary care and diagnosis.

The existing portable analog X-ray machine in Richmond Hospital’s Medical Imaging department is now more than 25 years old and needs to be put to rest. The latest generation is state-of-the-art and provides major benefits. Digital technology allows for instantaneous images instead of processing film from the old analog machine. The new equipment will also provide enhanced patient safety requiring lower doses of radiation than older models.

Portable X Ray Machine

Pulmonary Function

Bronchoscopes
($75,000; 2 required @ $37,500 each)

A bronchoscope is used to look into a patient’s lungs to give proper diagnoses. It is often used to detect cancer, tuberculosis, bleeding, or take out cell samples from the lungs. The bronchoscope in the Intensive Care Unit has broken and the health care team is currently borrowing this vital equipment from another unit within the hospital. Because it takes about 4 to 6 hours to sanitize the bronchoscope, sharing the equipment between units is definitely not ideal. A new bronchoscope dedicated to the ICU will help ensure timely care for patients who have trouble breathing.

Pulmonary Function

BIRTH CENTRE

Fetal Monitors with Telemetry Capability 
1 required at $30,000 each

Some of our fetal monitors currently in service were purchased 25 years ago and their parts can no longer be replaced. Fetal monitors provide the capacity to continuously assess how the fetus is responding to labour. The response pattern tracked by the fetal heart rate recording is an indication of the fetus’s well being.

This provides the team the necessary information to make clinical decisions to ensure the best possible outcome for the baby. Telemetry capability allows a woman to be up and walking around while in labour, which is good for the labour process.

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