Kelowna General Hospital campaigns for closer to home treatments for heart disorders

‘Here at KGH’ will complete the hospitals available resources for advanced heart rhythm services

“Right here at KGH.”

Its not what Okanagan patients often hear when looking for advanced treatments for a numerous amount of heart rhythm conditions. Usually, they’re directed to hospitals in the Lower Mainland.

But now, if the $7 million campaign put in place by the KGH Foundation is successful, more people will hear that phrase and will be able to access electrophysiology at the hospital.

“The electrophysiology services are the last component in the cardiac program here at KGH,” said KGH Foundation CEO Doug Rankmore during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

“The desire to have a full service cardiac program here probably started in the 1980s. The $7 million campaign will outfit the electrophysiology lab, and completing the cardiac program is a real milestone for KGH.”

Currently, only basic cardiac rhythm services, such as medications and procedures to treat faster heart rhythms, pacemakers to treat slower heart rhythms and an atrial fibrillation clinic are available to KGH patients.

Patients who require advanced treatments, such as electrophysiology, must travel to Victoria or Vancouver to get the treatment they need, and on days where snow closes highways, that proves difficult.

Cardiac rhythm disorders, also know as arrhythmia, are projected to be the leading cause of death in Canada by 2020, according to the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada.

RELATED: Decision on fate of Eagle Pass lookout expected end of February

“At the cardiac program we’ve done a lot of work over the years trying to bring advanced services to the people here in Kelowna, and we’re trying to fill in that last remaining gap,” said Dr. Frank Halperin, cardiology medical director. “Before, a patient would wait for weeks, now we’ll be able to provide the services right here locally. It will happen faster, it will happen quicker, and it will be easier for the family, and it will be closer to home, so it will really be a win-win for everybody.”

As a regional hospital, KGH serves one million residents from across B.C.’s interior. According to the hospital, the new lab could provide access to life-saving therapies to over 450 hearth rhythm patients a year, and will directly help local patients who could wait up to eight weeks for transfers to the other hospitals.

“The community has been unbelievably supportive to the cardiac services (at KGH) over the years, they’ve helped build the buildings. It’s a hardship for people, and having these services close to home will make a world of difference,” said Halperin.

The new electrophyisology treatment labs are projected for a April 2019 beginning.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Firefighters extinguish early-morning blaze in Rossland

Neighbour alerted family of four, no injuries reported

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Sledder dies near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue was tasked by the RCMP to respond to a sledder in medical distress

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read