Ahead by a foot
Cassii Clark has had many medical appointments since she became pregnant right around the start of the global pandemic. These have included weekly ultrasounds during pregnancy over concerns about her baby’s slow growth, an induced labour at 37-weeks, and an urgent late-night trip to the hospital after lab tests revealed high bilirubin levels in her newborn girl Quinn. The two have also been making regular visits to get Quinn treated for clubfoot, a process made more comforting from knowing that Dr. Shafique Pirani, the Royal Columbian pediatric orthopedic surgeon providing that care, is widely recognized for his pioneering work in correcting the deformity.
Mental health and the pandemic
Even if you allow yourself permission to imagine a return to pre-pandemic life, the complete story of COVID-19’s toll on society will likely not emerge for a while still. This includes the full effect on our mental health stemming from the anxiety, fear, isolation, financial hardship, and other stressors felt by many since early 2020.
Tips to Prevent An Unexpected Hospital Trip
As a trauma physician at Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) — one of the busiest trauma units in Canada — I see preventable tragedies every day. Education and awareness around the most common injuries and accidents and how to prevent them will keep everyone safe and ensure our frontline healthcare workers have the resources they need to save vulnerable lives.
From tests to vaccines: the lab’s role in a pandemic
The importance of testing to confirm COVID-19 infections has drawn new attention to the role of our healthcare labs. At Royal Columbian Hospital, the lab has a long history that goes back more than 100 years. Nowadays, with more than 5-million tests performed a year and with the generous support of donors to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, the hospital’s Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Department helps in over 80-percent of medical diagnoses. And that was before the pandemic struck.
Planning for a pandemic
Pandemics and infection control measures have long been on the radar of healthcare planners. Previous international outbreaks, including SARS and Ebola, have made the topic a key consideration in the design of hospitals, including Royal Columbian Hospital’s current $1.49 billion redevelopment.
When the Royal Columbian Hospital School of Nursing opened its nurses’ residence in Sherbrooke Centre in 1963, guests would present themselves to the ‘house mother’ who used an intercom to alert young nursing students.
Virtual cardiac care
Videoconferencing has quickly become a regular part of many of our lives ever since COVID-19 made physical distancing a top priority. Healthcare is no different, as hospitals and doctors’ offices shifted to telemedicine as a way to manage patient care during the pandemic. While the concept gained prominence in 2020, virtual consultations have been around for years and have shown some promising benefits at Royal Columbian Hospital with a group of cardiac patients.
Mindful of the future
Not one to rest on his laurels after a remarkable 50 years at Royal Columbian Hospital, Dr. Arun Garg is already anticipating the next big development in healthcare, and he wants the local community to be at the forefront of the change.
Spotlight on Auxiliary
Since 1902, countless patients and their families in every area of the hospital have been touched by the generous support and commitment of the Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary. An integral part of the hospital since the formation of the first Women’s Auxiliary just after the turn of the 20th century, the group’s mandate is to enhance patient care and comfort through the purchase of much-needed equipment. With such a long and proud history, the Auxiliary strengthens the hospital through volunteer activities and fundraising, primarily through book sales, Royal Columbian gift shop proceeds, and proceeds from the New To You thrift shop.
Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre
Comfort. Calming. Therapeutic. Those are among the aims of the new Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre, which is part of the first phase of Royal Columbian Hospital’s unprecedented redevelopment. The 75-bed facility has been under construction for the last three years, and the vision for the new centre has been developed over many years. It’s now ready to start providing inpatient and outpatient care, as well as educational and research opportunities.