WATCH: The Royal Jubilee Hospital has a new tool that will allow them to advance cardiac care on Vancouver Island.
The Cell Saver can be a lifesaver during open heart and vascular surgery, minimizing the amount of blood lost.
“A Cell Saver used on a major surgical patient can mean reduced recovery time, reduced risk of everything associated with blood transfusions,” said Allen Davenport, a perfusionist with Island Health.
A patient’s blood goes into the machine, the components are washed and filtered, and the red blood cells are returned to them.
“It’s like a washing machine for blood, no brushes or soap though,” he said.
The technology has been around for decades, but it has become more sophisticated, easier to use, producing a better product.
“It is a big deal for us. Now, we don’t have to pick and choose who gets it,” Davenport said.
The Royal Jubilee Hospital already has one, but it is aging and needed to be replaced.
Now that has happened thanks to a $50,000 donation by the First Open Heart Society.
“This is one of the pieces of equipment that is very important in surgery and it helps save lives, it reduces the risk of infection,” said President Doris Nicholson.
The Victoria Hospital Foundation said they are grateful for the donation.
“The gift of this machine is remarkable because it is really going to be critical to patient care here at the Heart Health Centre at Royal Jubilee Hospital,” said foundation chair Cathy McIntyre.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Canada, but cutting-edge technology is making it easier and safer to receive care.