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Foundation helps to improve patient care at UHWI

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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THE JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation recently outfitted the intravenous ( IV) fluid room in the pharmacy department of the University of the West Indies Hospital (UHWI) with a new 60,000 BTU air conditioning unit valued at over $500,000, to assist the facility to better store vital intravenous (IV) fluid, also commonly referred to as drip.

Speaking to the critical need, director of pharmacy at UHWI Dr Arlene Thorbourne notes that the installation of the a/c unit will improve the storage condition and preserve the integrity of the IV fluid, which is a critical part of daily patient care, especially at UHWI.

As a Type A hospital, UHWI is responsible for both secondary and tertiary patient care, and is the final referral point of service for other health-care facilities. The hospital also functions as a teaching and research institution for medical sciences students and other health care professionals. Intravenous fluid is a routine part of the treatment regime, with patients needing fluid administration (for correcting dehydration) to correct electrolyte imbalances, to deliver IV medications, and for blood transfusions.

“Jamaica often experiences normal temperatures averaging over 28 degrees Celsius, especially during the summer months; however IV fluids require storage below 25 degrees Celsius, and hence the need for air-conditioned storage,” Thorbourne explains .

On a monthly basis, more than 12,000 bags (or 500 millilitres) of normal saline, the most frequently used IV fluid, is administered by UHWI. Thorbourne highlights.

“The donation of the new a/c unit by the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation is welcomed as, prior to this donation, the UHWI was challenged with unpredictable storage temperatures for its IV fluids. The improved condition created by the donation will now allow the hospital to maintain IV fluids at the controlled temperature. “

In keeping with the foundation's mandate to positively impact change in Jamaica, it provides support for: institutional capacity strengthening, educational initiatives, entrepreneurship, transformation and youth development.

Kim Mair shares: “The foundation was delighted to respond to the need of the hospital in this way, as we believe that such a partnership is a part of our corporate social responsibility to assist in improving the quality of the life by supporting the health care provided to all Jamaicans.”

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