​How you can help

Richmond Hospital provides leading edge health care to our community – but we need donors like you to help us keep up with our city’s growth and aging population.
Donations directly impact the acute and community care services that Richmond Hospital and Vancouver Coastal Health provides, giving our doctors and medical teams the vital tools they need to provide and enhance the compassionate, lifesaving health care they provide. Your gift helps ensure Richmond Hospital can provide the best quality health care possible, when we need it the most.
Please donate online, or call us directly at 604.244.5252, if you’d like to make a gift towards any of our current needs.

Dr. Matthew Kwok


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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.

“Code Blue.” These are words nobody wants to hear in a hospital. 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 almost 40 Code Blue emergencies at Richmond Hospital. With dramatically increasing numbers of patients and emergency visits, at the current rate, Richmond Hospital will see 40-50 Code Blue emergencies this year.

Defibrillators: $323,000 
5 transport models required @ $25,000 each
11 on-site models required @ $18,000 each
Left to raise: $282,000


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.

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.

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.


Microtome Tissue Slicers
Required: $140,000
Left to raise: $105,000
(3 remaining at $35,000 each) 

To make an accurate diagnosis when a patient has a suspicious mass of tissue surgically removed, Richmond Hospital Lab physicians rely on a microtome to slice tissue samples obtained from the patient in the operating room.

The microtome’s blade slices the sample to 5 microns thin (or five one-thousandths of a millimeter). The slice is then placed on a glass slide, affixed to it and then stained, to allow for accurate, detailed viewing so that the pathologist can analyze it and then write the finding in a report for the surgeon and oncologist, who will then take the next appropriate steps required for further surgery or cancer treatment or both.

Accuracy is absolutely crucial to determine whether cancer or another disease is present. If it’s sliced too thick, the sample may appear as cancer when it’s not. Too thin and it won’t be visible.

Richmond Hospital has four microtomes that are 20 years old, the oldest in the entire region and now at the end of their lifespans. They are now so obsolete, if they break, parts are unavailable and they cannot be repaired. Over the past five years, the Lab has seen an increase of nearly 65% in the surgical samples that must be processed. After so many years of wear, they can no longer slice with the accuracy, speed and reliability required for the high volume of patients that Richmond Hospital now sees. These days, slicing must often be repeated multiple times and slides are often duplicated to ensure at least one slide will be the correct thickness. Delays in diagnosis can result if the tissue slicing must be redone.

The Richmond Hospital Lab urgently needs new microtomes to keep pace with the high demands our growing population is placing on our laboratory services. New microtomes will speed workflows and ensure highly accurate tissue slices can be made be made consistently and reliably each and every time so our physicians can provide you the answers you need as a patient or a family member.

Help fund vital equipment, either on your own or combined with the gifts of others, to help increase efficiency and speed the diagnoses of tumours to get the answers patients need quickly to help save and improve lives.


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Dr. Patrick Wong is a pathologist in the Richmond Hospital Laboratory.