New ventilator will help Golden medical staff care for critical trauma patients

The Golden and District Hospital is seeking the community’s help to obtain a very important piece of equipment.

There are several transport ventilators on the market

The Golden and District Hospital is seeking the community’s help to obtain a very important piece of equipment that will assist with the unique needs of the hospital.

Golden’s location on the highway, coupled with the outdoor recreation opportunities that bring so many tourists to the area, mean that the hospital deals with more than their fair share of trauma cases.

“Because of Golden’s location…on a very dangerous section of the TransCanada Highway, and in the mountains where extreme sports lovers come all year round to play…and being many hours away from Cranbrook, Calgary and Kelowna…and because air transport is so dependent on availability, weather, time of day…it often comes down to our physicians and nurses getting into the back of an ambulance with our most critical patients…and make our way to the nearest higher level of care facility,” said Deborah Austin, director of acute health services with Interior Health for Golden and Invermere.

The piece of equipment they are seeking is a transport ventilator, which is a breathing machine. These trauma patients often need to be ventilated during these trips to larger hospitals, which can leave Golden ill-equipped at home.

“In Golden, we have 1 ventilator. This leaves us a little uneasy when it is out on the road for many hours,” said Austin.

“We have borrowed a second ventilator from Invermere to support our site, until we can purchase the new transport ventilator.”

The cost of the transport ventilator is about $40,000, so the hospital is going to be starting a long fundraising campaign to help get this vital piece of equipment into the community.

“We have a group of very committed physicians and staff here that are determined and passionate about the work they do here…so we are hopeful.”

Obtaining better critical care equipment is a priority for the physicians and nurses at the Golden Hospital.

They see a lot  of critical patients, and the better supplied they are here, the better they will feel about keeping patients here longer until the more ideal air transport can be arranged.