“It is unimaginable to think what our story would be if these services were not available at the PCH.” That is the sentiment Lori Pomeroy expressed when she discussed the life saving surgery her son Campbell received at the Prince County Hospital two years ago. He was rushed to the Emergency Department at the PCH with what the family thought were flu-like symptoms that were persisting for days. However, Campbell’s body was quickly “shutting down” and he required emergency surgery. While in surgery, it was discovered that his bowel had twisted and ruptured and he was septic. It was determined he had Meckel’s Diverticulum and consequently he had 60cm of his small intestine removed that day. “It was a very intense situation and doctors told us ideally he would be airlifted to IWK,” says Lori. “However, he was not stable enough to be transported. He did not have time. So, without the teams in Emergency services, the Operating Room, and the equipment used that day at the PCH, our son would not have made it. We are forever grateful that we can share this miraculous story.”
This surgery and many others have been possible because of the team in Surgical Services at the Prince County Hospital and the vital equipment purchased with generous donations from the community. The last time the surgical unit received a large scale advancement in technology was during the infancy of the “new” PCH. In 2005, the Operating Rooms (ORs) at PCH were outfitted for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS); this equipment was the first of its kind on PEI. That was 12 years ago now and much of what was purchased then is past its prime. The surgical team performs a wide variety of procedures for patients from across the province – over 4,700 last year. When those procedures are unplanned such as the Pomeroy family’s emergency visit, we appreciate PCH and its medical team even more.
A $1.5 million replacement of equipment and technology is needed in the OR this year to ensure patients in PEI have access to the most advanced life-saving surgical equipment. The OR refitting is part of a larger $2.5 million equipment appeal that includes medical equipment needs from many departments at the Prince County Hospital. “Upgrading the technology and staying ahead of the tech curve allows us to do state of the art laparoscopic (MIS) procedures. If you’re going to do state-of-the-art procedures you need state-of-the-art equipment,” explained Dr. Robert McKay – Surgeon at PCH. A key ingredient is an upgrade to our “integrated OR”. This integration refers to functionally connecting the OR environment. This includes patient information, audio, video, surgical lights and room lights, building automation, and medical equipment. Users can easily route audio/visual sources (cameras) and effectively control surgical equipment. When integrated, all technology can be controlled from a central console by one operator.
With these important enhancements to the ORs at PCH this year and a host of other vital medical equipment, the community’s help is needed. Donation packages are in mailboxes now and gifts can be made securely online at pchcare.com or by calling (902) 432-2547. A full list of great needs is available on the PCH Foundation’s website pchcare.com.