One of the busiest ambulatory procedure units at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) is the nucleus of the health foundation’s new $400,000 fundraising campaign.
The Endoscopy Campaign launched this week in support of the KBRH Regional Endoscopy Program that now runs five days a week and services at least 50 patients each week.
Money raised will be directed into the purchase of highly specialized and sensitive equipment called gastroscopes and colonoscopes, which are fundamental pieces for the hospital’s ever growing Endoscopy Unit.
Endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. The scope is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached, that once introduced into the gastrointestinal tract or colon, transmits a picture to a TV monitor to assist physicians in diagnosing and potentially treat a respective concern.
Vital in identifying conditions of the upper and lower intestinal tracts such as ulcer disease, acid reflux disease, bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer, the KBRH Endoscopy Unit is also busy with the Provincial Colon Screening Program – doctors perform approximately 2,500 scoping procedures annually.
“Our endoscopy equipment varies in age, some of the scopes are years old, others newer,” says Dr. Todd Owatz, one of five surgeons who perform endoscopies at KBRH. “Newer equipment greatly improves visual resolution , much like newer high definition TVs allow better picture clarity. When we are doing screening colonoscopies, the clearer the picture the more sensitive the test, at ruling out tiny precancerous polyps.”
Along with the scopes, campaign funds will provide other equipment and products that support endoscopy procedures, notes KBRH Health Foundation Director of Development, Lisa Pasin.
Lisa Pasin, KBRH Health Foundation
These include: specialized storage cabinets with Hepa filters; a cautery machine to help stop bleeding in the colon or GI tract; an efficient scope cleaning and sterilizing system; a High Definition Tower, including a screen light source and processor which provides the best possible images to facilitate diagnosis; a specialized table to place and secure the scope thereby minimizing handling and decreasing possibility of damage before and after the procedure; and a monitoring system to provide high standard care of patients before, during and after their procedure.
“Together, the entire suite of equipment will give the physicians all the tools required to ensure a first class service in this specialty,” added Pasin.
Dr. Ron Cameron says new scopes and equipment will benefit patients and the entire endoscopy team to ensure ongoing quality care of the highest standard.
“The endoscopy program at KBRH is essential to investigate symptoms of the GI tract, diagnose and follow patients with inflammatory bowel disease, diagnose and treat acute GI bleeding, and screen for colorectal cancer,” Dr. Cameron explained. “New scopes will help improve visualization of significant lesions.”
Patients benefit when the doctor is better able to visualize small sometimes subtle pre cancerous lesions, or other inflammatory conditions of the bowel.
Notably, additional scopes purchased through the Endoscopy Campaign will help reduce the turnover of the unit’s existing instruments.
“They are highly sophisticated, pretty delicate and expensive pieces of equipment that are turned over many times a day leading to wear and tear,” Cameron said.
Each scope costs upwards of $35,000 and may require expensive repairs over its lifespan, which is usually five years.
“New supports, containers and processing equipment will assist our excellent endoscopy staff and help protect these essential pieces of equipment,” Dr. Cameron shared. “The new cautery unit will help prevent and control potentially life threatening bleeding, again good news for our patients.”
We are excited that the KBRH Health Foundation has chosen to the endoscopy unit for their next project, he added.
“Literally from top to bottom, excuse the pun, I am very proud of our endoscopy unit and expert staff. We are forever grateful to the residents of the Kootenay Boundary for their ongoing generosity and support of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, Trail and its services.”
Dr. Ron Cameron (left) & Dr. Todd Owatz
The Endoscopy Campaign is expected to wind up in one year. To date, the foundation has received a $40,000 commitment from the Trail Hospital Auxiliary and a $60,000 commitment from the Rossland Health Care Auxiliary.
For more information and to donate, contact Pasin at 250.364.3495 or via email <span class="n_ 1133 v32" style="color: #000000; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif, "Lucida Grande", Tahoma, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; fon