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East York people, places, events & insights

Donors helping MG Hospital emergency nurses to save lives

Emergency room staff perform a simulation at Michael Garron Hospital -GARY WEBB-PROCTOR

Emergency room staff perform a simulation at Michael Garron Hospital -GARY WEBB-PROCTOR

Nurses and other Emergency Room staff at East York’s Michael Garron Hospital on Coxwell Ave. (formerly Toronto East General Hospital) are better able to save lives thanks to private donations that have funded better training in the ERs, a gathering was told recently.

Emergency nurses at the hospital, along with those across North America, are currently celebrating Emergency Nurses Week, which began October 9 and finishes October 15.

The hospital’s Chief of Medicine, Dr. John Abrahamson, told an event held at the hospital on September 20 that donations had helped the hospital “to become a leader in patient safety and reduced mortality” by, for example, funding training simulations that make emergency nurses and other staff better prepared to handle a wider range of episodes.

The event was a “Behind-The-Scenes” meeting and tour put on by the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation, which raises money for the facility.  It was aimed at giving past and potential donors a look at how money gifted to MGH has helped improve the ability of the hospital to save lives and produce better experiences for patients.

In addition to addresses by Dr. Abrahamson and officials such as foundation president Mitze Mourinho, the event included a tour of some of the facilities that have benefitted from past largesse.

In an emergency room simulation presided over by Dr. Paul Hannam, Chief and Medical Director of the Dept. of Emergency Medicine, emergency nurses, doctors and other staff demonstrated how the process of treating a patient with apparent heart attack or stroke symptoms has improved because the funding has allowed the department to conduct such rehearsals on an ongoing basis.

Dr. Hannam pointed out that when dealing with such situations, quick and accurate diagnoses are critical, as is getting the patient into the proper follow-up full treatment setting.  Thanks to the simulations, times between patient arrival and, for example, transfers to the more fully equipped heart surgery facility at St. Mike’s hospital, had been “reduced substantially.”

Participants in the simulations, which are strikingly realistic when conducted in training, are observed by senior staff and discussions following the event help to improve performance in actual emergencies, Hannan said.

Dr. Deanna Telner told the gathering during another part of the tour that some of the community liaison programs the hospital was able to develop with other organizations thanks to private grants had been adopted nationally and internationally by other institutions.

The tour portion of the event also included viewing of new rooms being built as part of the hospital’s multi-million dollar expansion and renovation and which also benefitted from private donation funds.

-Gary Webb-Proctor

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