Guardian gives $10-m equipment to UHWI

Sunday, May 12, 2019

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The University Hospital of the West Indies is now home to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenator Machine (ECMO), the only one of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean, and donated by the Guardian Group Foundation with funds raised from the 2018 staging of the 'Keep it Alive' 5K Night Runs.

Speaking at the handing over of the equipment, valued at $10 million, which took place at the Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Mona, last Tuesday, May 7, Dr Carl Bruce, medical chief of staff at the UHWI expressed appreciation to the Guardian Group Foundation for the donation. He noted that the equipment would increase the hospital's ability to provide world-class care to patients, thereby reducing the need for overseas travel.

Eric Hosin, president, Guardian Life Limited, said his organisation was very pleased that proceeds from the annual 5K continue to facilitate the purchase of medical equipment for the island's hospitals, and to help in saving lives.

In addition to the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenator Machine, which provides prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are not functioning at the required levels, the UHWI also received a minimal access neuroendoscopy system which allows doctors to perform minimally invasive procedures on neurosurgery patients. This machine will decrease the level of pain associated with these procedures and will also reduce recovery time.

“This machine allows us to make a small incision and use a camera to aid in the surgery process, as opposed to making larger incisions. This means less pain for the patient; it also enables patients to return to normal life a lot sooner. By contrast, such procedures would require patients to remain in hospital up to five days after surgery. However, by using this new machine, the patient could return home the same day or the day after surgery, at the longest,” Dr Renee Cruikshank, neurosurgery resident, UHWI explained.

In addition to donating the new medical equipment valued at $10 million, the Guardian Group Foundation has provided an additional $1 million to facilitate training for the hospital staff in the use of the machines.


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