Telethon pledges ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions

New equip­ment will help cut op­er­at­ing time at Car­bon­ear Gen­eral


Or­ga­niz­ers of the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia Health Foun­da­tion telethon were pleas­antly sur­prised by the re­sponse to this year’s event. De­spite the strain of Hur­ri­cane Igor, pledges to the telethon again sur­passed the amount ex­pected by or­ga­niz­ers.

In the wake of Hur­ri­cane Igor and the strain it has put on peo­ple’s pock­et­books, Don Coombs ad­mits, “ I thought our num­bers would be down this year.”

The chief devel­op­ment of­fi­cer for the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Pla­cen­tia Health Foun­da­tion was re­fer­ring to the to­tal pro­ceeds from the 21st an­nual Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Pla­cen­tia Health Foun­da­tion Telethon.

“But the peo­ple proved me wrong again,” Coombs told The Com­pass last week.

The telethon was held Oct. 3, just days af­ter a prov­ince-wide ra­dio-athon on VOCM Ra­dio had raised more than $1 mil­lion for vic­tims of the dis­as­ter.

By the end of the 12-hour T. C. P. Health Foun­da­tion Telethon, which ran from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the to­tal amount raised was $345,530.

That sur­passed the $314,000 raised dur­ing last year’s event. Coombs be­lieves the ac­tual to­tal should hit the $ 350,000 mark by the time all the pledges are in.

The telethon was broad­cast live through­out the re­gion on East­link from Amal­ga­mated Academy in Bay Roberts.

For those who do not have East­link cable TV ser­vice and were un­able to view the event, Coombs pointed out it’s still not too late to make pledges, which can be made at any char­tered bank, credit union or health care fa­cil­ity op­er­ated by East­ern Health in the re­gion.

Funds raised this year will go to­wards the pur­chase of two new in­te­grated op­er­at­ing room (ma­chines) for the Car­bon­ear Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

The suites cost $200,000 each and will be the first of their kind in the prov­ince. Coombs said they are cur­rently in the process of be­ing ten­dered.

He sug­gested these kinds of pur­chases al­low sur­geons and other sur­gi­cal staff at the hos­pi­tal “to work with the best of equip­ment.”

Benef its of In­te­grated O. R. Er­gonomics

Ac­cord­ing to lit­er­a­ture pro­vided by the foun­da­tion, all the equip­ment is mounted on the O. R. ceil­ing us­ing ar­tic­u­lat­ing arms and booms. This elim­i­nates the need for man­ual ma­noeu­vring of bulky en­do­scopic video equip­ment in and out of the room.

Video ca­bling along the floor is also elim­i­nated, thus re­mov­ing safety haz­ards.

This gives the sur­geon and nurs­ing staff greater mo­bil­ity dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, al­low­ing them to fo­cus full­time on the pa­tient care, in­creas­ing the over­all ef­fi­ciency of the en­tire sur­gi­cal team.

Much fewer re­pairs are re­quired on the equip­ment as their trans­port and setup is made much eas­ier and quicker.

Surg­eries can be per­formed through a scope as well as small in­stru­ments (en­do­scopic surgery) in­stead of hav­ing to make large in­ci­sions to per­form the surgery.

The cam­era be­comes the sur­geon’s eyes, elim­i­nat­ing the need for larger in­ci­sions, to view and ac­cess in­ter­nal anatomy for en­do­scopic pro­ce­dures.

Di­ag­nos­tic la­paro­scopies, ap­pen­dec­tomies, gall­blad­der pro­ce­dures, re­moval of kid­ney, spleen, adrenal glands, ovaries and ovar­ian cysts, hia­tus her­nia re­pairs, biop­sies, bowel re­sec­tions, hys­tero­scopies, cys­to­scopies and other pro­ce­dures can be per­formed us­ing these suites.

A crisp, high def­i­ni­tion im­age is key in per­form­ing these surg­eries.

En­do­scopic surgery cre­ates sev­eral ad­van­tages for both the pa­tient and hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing: less pain and trauma for pa­tient; quicker re­cov­ery; ear­lier re­turn to work; shorter hos­pi­tal stay; bet­ter cos­metic re­sult; and de­creased risk of blood loss and in­fec­tion.


There are sev­eral com­po­nents to the room that con­trib­ute to its ef­fi­ciency. For ex­am­ple, set-up time is greatly re­duced due to the equip­ment be­ing mounted on mov­able, ceil­ing mounted ar­tic­u­lat­ing arms.

Turnover time be­tween sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures is greatly re­duced. All equip­ment is con­trolled re­motely via a touch panel dis­play or through voice ac­ti­va­tion. An equip­ment func­tion can be per­formed im­me­di­ately in­stead of hav­ing to wait for one of the staff to walk to the equip­ment and man­u­ally pro­gram it.

The ef­fi­ciency gen­er­ated cuts op­er­at­ing time and al­lows for faster turnover of cases, en­abling the sur­gi­cal team to do more surgery in a day or at­tend to

other mat­ters right away.


The O.R. suites in­te­grate mul­ti­ple hos­pi­tal modal­i­ties and al­low the staff to ac­cess crit­i­cal pa­tient in­for­ma­tion dur­ing the sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure.

Di­ag­nos­tic im­ages such as X-ray, MRI, CT, etc. can be ac­cessed and dis­played in the sur­gi­cal field dur­ing the sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure al­low­ing the sur­geon to ref­er­ence crit­i­cal anatom­i­cal in­for­ma­tion dur­ing the sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure.

The suites can also com­mu­ni­cate to other ar­eas of the hos­pi­tal or any­where in the world. Au­dio and video feeds can be trans­mit­ted in and out of the room for col­lab­o­ra­tion, teach­ing, as well as tele­men­tor­ing pur­poses.

The telethon is the foun­da­tion’s sin­gle largest an­nual fundrais­ing event.

Don Coombs, who has been with the foun­da­tion since it was launched in 1989, es­ti­mates they have raised ap­prox­i­mately $ 7 mil­lion from the telethon and other fundrais­ing events for new health care equip­ment in the re­gion over the past two decades

Tri­con Club of Bell Aliant Tele­phone Pi­o­neers were among the vol­un­teers who staffed the phones dur­ing the 21st Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Pla­cen­tia Health Foun­da­tion Telethon on Oct. 3. Be­sides tak­ing pledges, the Pi­o­neers do­nated $500. Shown here are, from left: Lynn Vaters, Doreen Rus­sell, Ma­rina Brad­bury, Marie Neville and Chap­ter 105 pres­i­dent Joan Neil.

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