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New heart monitor a lifesaver at Fort Macleod Health Centre

Daniel Plourde is alive today because of the care he received at Fort Macleod Health Centre. Photo by Denise Joel.

Daniel Plourde is alive today because of the care he received at Fort Macleod Health Centre. Photo by Denise Joel.


Fourth-year nursing student Matt Burbank demonstrates the cuff of the LifePak 15 portable cardiac monitor and defibrillator, seen at far right, as registered nurse Merline Heal looks on at Fort Macleod Health Centre. Photo by Denise Joel.

Fourth-year nursing student Matt Burbank demonstrates the cuff of the LifePak 15 portable cardiac monitor and defibrillator, seen at far right, as registered nurse Merline Heal looks on at Fort Macleod Health Centre. Photo by Denise Joel.

KERRI ROBINS – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
When Daniel Plourde collapsed on Nov. 14, 2013, he was 20 minutes outside of town and fearing for his life because of the pains in his chest.
“I got home and my wife called the ambulance and got me to the hospital in Fort Macleod,” the 59-year-old Plourde said. “By that time, they said I’d had three heart attacks already.
“I was hooked up to a lot of equipment and it was frightening, but I can’t believe how excellent the care was in Fort Macleod.”
Plourde was eventually air-lifted to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary for further treatment.
The following April, just a few months after Plourde’s heart attack, the Fort Macleod Health Centre purchased a LifePak 15 cardiac monitor, with funds from the Fort Macleod and District Health Foundation.
“The LifePak 15 is an essential diagnostic tool that is critical for all patients showing cardiac and stroke symptoms,” said Denise Joel, site manager at the Fort Macleod Health Centre.
A portable bedside cardiac monitor and defibrillator, it tracks and monitors patient blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and pulse, and displays a graph of heart rhythms.
Its portability allows the patient to be transported while being continually monitored.
And the benefits don’t stop there.
“The LifePak 15 has a built-in defibrillator, which is nice, in case the patient suffers a cardiac arrest and needs a shock to re-start the heart,” Joel added. “With this ‘all-in-one’ machine we can definitely improve patient flow.”
The LifePak is now located in the health centre’s newly renovated trauma room.
“The trauma room is reserved for critically ill or injured patients, and accounts for about 10 per cent of all visits,” Joel said. “However, advanced monitoring equipment like the LifePak 15 is also used for minor procedures that require patient sedation.”
The Fort Macleod and District Health Foundation’s annual Oktoberfest gala event in 2013 raised the $23,000 to buy the device.
Foundation chair Susan Koots is pleased the centre now has such a vital piece of diagnostic equipment.
“The LifePak 15 is definitely a welcome addition to our health centre,” Koots said.
“We have a great community that really pitches in when it comes to supporting health care and equipment purchases like the LifePak 15 — we couldn’t do it without this support and for that I’m truly grateful.”
Plourde, now fully recovered, was given a clean bill of health last November, a year after his heart attacks.
“I don’t like to think about what might have happened, but I know the great care I received in Fort Macleod is one of the reasons I’m here today,” Plourde said.
“I’m happy this new piece of equipment is now available to people in our area.”
For more information, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/give.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Garrett de Koning Says:

    Pretty sad when the people have to pat for waht healthcare should be paying for but that is politicians for you steal your money but give nothing in return. The health taxes plus the monthly fees should be supplying all hospitals in all towns and cities with poper equipment and vacilities to health care but the politicians steal and we let them. Hope this changes with the PCs gone.