Trauma room gets a reno

August 11, 2014

Major ‘surgery’ upgrades Fort Macleod Health Centre trauma area with state-of-the-art equipment

Story by Kerri Robins; Photos by Frank McTighe, Macleod Gazette

Denise Joel and Susan KootsFORT MACLEOD — An updated trauma room in the Fort Macleod Health Centre is providing welcome changes for its critical patients, thanks to the Fort Macleod and District Health Foundation.

“Our existing trauma room didn’t have a very good patient flow because the patient was too close to the door and, with staff working on the patient, it created a lot of congestion around the head of the bed,” says Denise Joel, Site Manager at the centre.

The upgrade took four months and was completed in March at a cost of $105,000.

The existing space was gutted and re-configured so the patient is now in the centre of the room, which gives better access to the primary oxygen lines.

As well, the room has been equipped with all the necessities of a trauma room, including crash carts which hold the necessary supplies to treat an emergency patient, monitoring equipment, new lighting, enclosed shelving and hands-free sinks.

Another great addition is the state-of-the-art PAX (Picture Archiving and Communication) system that allows physicians to view high quality, digital X-ray images on a double monitor right in the trauma room.

“In the old trauma room, we used to have to look at X-rays in another room — away from the patient,” says Joel.

“Now, we also use the room for minor surgical procedures that require sedation; for example setting fractures. As well, the room meets our increased infection control standards with the hands-free sinks and enclosed shelves.”

With the reconfigured space, the room is more private for patients as there is a door instead of a curtain.

“The room is used for our sickest patients to stabilize them for transport to either Lethbridge or Calgary, depending on their condition and the treatment required.”

The funds were raised locally over two years through a casino and two Oktoberfest events.

Susan Koots, Chair of the Fort Macleod and District Health Foundation, says she’s pleased with the community’s support.

“Our community never ceases to amaze me and continually raises the bar in the level of commitment they show for our health centre,” she says.

“We are fortunate having both private and business donors contributing in so many ways, especially their time and effort on various fundraising events.”

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