Telethon tops $400,000

New equip­ment will help cut op­er­at­ing time at Car­bon­ear Gen­eral

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

When the Trinity Con­cep­tion Placentia Health Foun­da­tion held its 21st an­nual Telethon in 2010, it planned to put the money raised to­wards the pur­chase of two new in­te­grated op­er­at­ing room suites for the Car­bon­ear Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. These units run be­tween $225,000 and $230,000 a pop.

Last year’s fundraiser ended up net­ting close to $350,000 — enough to pur­chase one of these units, with change — but not quite enough for two.

Af­ter the 22nd an­nual Trin­i­tyCon­cep­tion Placentia Health Foun­da­tion Telethon held Oct. 9 of this year, they now have more than enough to or­der the sec­ond unit.

Health Foun­da­tion of­fi­cials were still count­ing the money as it con­tin­ued to pour in last week. But at the end of this year’s 12-hour T.C.P Health Foun­da­tion Telethon, some $409,357 was show­ing on the board.

Record fundraiser

That’s the largest sin­gle amount ever raised in the 22-year his­tory of the fundrais­ing event.

Don Coombs, the foun­da­tion’s chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer told The Com­pass he had ex­pected this year’s event to take in be­tween $325,000 and $350,000.

“It far ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions,” Coombs said. By the time it is all in and counted, he ex­pects this year’s to­tal to hit the $415,000 mark.

“ The peo­ple’s gen­eros­ity proved me wrong again,” he said.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the telethon was brought into liv­ing rooms through­out the re­gion on Eastlink TV from Amal­ga­mated Academy in Bay Roberts.

First of its kind

Ten­ders were called for the first unit late last year and Coombs ex­plained that unit is ex­pected to be in op­er­a­tion at the hos­pi­tal “any day now. And it will be the first of its kind in the prov­ince,” he added.

While the units are de­signed to ex­pe­dite surgery, the process of ac­tu­ally get­ting them into place is a length­ier one.

Asked about the length of time it takes to put one of these units in place, Coombs ex­plained, be­cause of the ten­der­ing process and ren­o­va­tions that have to take place, “it takes that long.”

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

He ex­plained the money left over af­ter they are pur­chased goes to­wards the pur­chase of smaller items re­quested by East­ern Health.

“ We (Health Foun­da­tion) don’t buy any equip­ment. Every­thing has to go through East­ern Health. Ba­si­cally they come to us with their wish list,” he ex­plained.

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

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

Im­prov­ing O.R. safety, com­fort

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the foun­da­tion, all the equip­ment is mounted on the op­er­at­ing room 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, re­mov­ing safety haz­ards.

This gives the sur­geon and nurs- ing staff greater mo­bil­ity dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, al­low­ing them to fo­cus their full at­ten­tion on pa­tient care, in­creas­ing the over­all ef­fi­ciency of the en­tire sur­gi­cal team.

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.

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.

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.


Sev­eral com­po­nents to the room 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 also 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 O.R. suites in­te­grate mul­ti­ple hos­pi­tal pro­ce­dures 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 al­low­ing the sur­geon to re­fer to 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.

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