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

7th annual Invermere Music Fest

A snapshot of the festival

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Need cash to splash

Radium Sunrise Rotary Club wants to build a splash park in Radium Hot Springs

Kootenay National Park about to turn 100

Ninety-nine years of publicly-accessible wilderness

Kootenay Conservation Program develops online conservation tool

Online toolkit for Kootenay-based services and programs

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read