SUDBURY, ON – A couple from Whitefish is donating $1-million to help buy life-saving equipment and provide the support that will help Health Sciences North treat COVID-19 patients and beyond.
The donation to the Health Sciences North Foundation is being made by Craig Fielding and Katriina Ruotsalo. Their generosity will help buy a new ECMO Machine (Portable Heart-Lung Support System) that provides critical respiratory care for some of the most acute patients in HSN’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In patients with severe pneumonia and the flu, this machine is used to pump blood around a patient’s body until their own heart and lungs are strong enough.
“Katriina and I are proud to make an impact on the health care of northerners, and support front-line workers, especially during this pandemic,” says Craig Fielding. “We hope we can play a role in ensuring patients get the care they need close to home during challenging times and hopefully inspire others who are able to consider supporting our outstanding hospital.”
As well, three anesthetic machines will be purchased to support the 10,000 large surgical cases a year performed at HSN – including cardiac, neuro, vascular, joints and cancer. A new heart-lung machine that performs the work of the heart and lungs in patients recovering from open heart surgery, as well as a new mask fit testing machine, will also be purchased.
“This gift will have an immediate impact on how health care is provided in Northeastern Ontario,” says Anthony Keating, President and Chief Development Officer, Foundations and Volunteer Groups at HSN. “It will also have long lasting benefits for our patients and the entire region. We’re all so grateful for this gift to our communities.”
In order for the hospital to be ready for a surge in COVID-19 patients, HSN has had to invest in the expansion of the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit, and move patients who don’t need acute care. Funds from this donation will help cover the additional supplies, equipment and staffing costs that HSN has incurred because of this work.
”The community is really stepping up to the plate,” says Dominic Giroux, President and CEO of HSN. “Craig and Katriina’s generosity is a great example of how philanthropy has a direct and immediate impact on our patients. This donation is also a big morale booster for our staff. I can’t thank Craig and Katriina enough.”
Background on Equipment:
- ECMO Machine (Portable Heart-Lung Support System): This vital piece of equipment helps serve some of the most critical patients at HSN. The ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine is a portable heart-lung support system that is used to provide respiratory support for some of the most acute patients in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). The machine is similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery, but it is portable and can be rapidly deployed to save a patient’s life. In patients with severe pneumonia and the flu, this piece of technology is used to pump blood around a patient’s body until their own heart and lungs are strong enough. HSN has been identified by Critical Care Ontario as a designated ECMO centre. As such, the need for a second ECMO machine is urgently needed to better equip the hospital for emerging medical situations, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
- Heart-Lung Machine: Crucial to the ability to perform open-heart surgery on a patient, is the heart-lung machine. This machine performs the work of both the heart and the lungs: pumping and oxygenating blood. Blood returning to the heart is diverted through a heart-lung machine before being returned to arterial circulation.
- Three (3) Anesthetic Machines: The delivery of safe, high-quality patient care is of utmost importance at HSN. Vital medical equipment plays a crucial role in the ability to provide safe patient care. HSN currently performs 10,000 large surgical cases a year – including cardiac, neuro, vascular, joints and cancer. The cornerstone of life-support to perform these surgical procedures is the anesthetic machine. This device is used to generate and mix a fresh gas flow of medical gases, and inhalational anesthetic agents for the purpose of inducing and maintaining anesthesia during surgical procedures.
- New Mask Fit Testing Machine: This machine allows the HSN Occupational Health and Safety team to conduct mask fit testing to comply with Infection Prevention and Control protocols.
- Surge Planning: In order for the hospital to be ready for the surge in COVID-19 patients, HSN has had to invest in the expansion of the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit, and moving patients who don’t need acute care. Funds will be used to cover the additional supplies, equipment and staffing costs that this incurs.