LOADING...

Posts Tagged "VGH"

27Jun

Thousands of tabs of addictive opioids stolen from VGH last year

by admin

Over 2,000 doses of opiates were stolen from Vancouver General Hospital by staff last year, according to documents obtained through a freedom of information request.

Over 1,600 tabs and 853 millilitres of hydromorphone were reported stolen from the hospital in two unrelated incidents last January.

“The diversion or misuse of narcotics is rare,” spokesperson Matt Kieltyka explained in an email to Postmedia. “Vancouver Coastal Health takes this issue seriously and has several systems in place to ensure narcotics are dispensed and accounted for as prescribed.”

Kieltyka said staff were involved in both instances, but he was not able to give details on what disciplinary measures were taken.

Such theft, known as “drug diversion,” has been a rising concern in recent years.

Data from Health Canada shows 13,221 doses of opioids were reported stolen from medical facilities in 2018.

Over 3,200 of those were in B.C., which is more than any other province except Ontario, where over 9,700 were taken.

Theft of hydromorphone, which is sometimes sold under the name Dilaudid, jumped sharply in B.C. between 2017 and 2018, according to Health Canada data, with 3,211 units stolen in 2018 compared to just 12 the year before.

Mark Fan, a researcher at North York General Hospital who studies drug diversion, said data on stolen drugs is likely incomplete and that rates of diversion as “probably underestimated.”

“At any point in the medication use process, it’s possible for it to be transferred away from legitimate use,” said Fan.

Related

He said diversion usually occurs when a staff member manipulates documentation or falsifies prescriptions to over-order medication. They also may physically steal the substances.

In such cases, the theft may not be discovered until an audit is conducted.

Drug diversion made headlines in 2015 after a VGH aide overdosed on stolen opiates. Since then, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Provincial Health Services Authority have adopted measures that Kieltyka said include “dispensing machines, vaults, locked cabinets and security cameras.”

The authority says they have also piloted use of “containers that contain a solution that renders the drugs unusable” at two units within Vancouver Coastal Health and may implement them province-wide.

Const. Steve Addision with the Vancouver Police Department says hydromorphone is fairly common in the city’s illicit drug market, and that a 2-mg pill usually sells for around $10.

But the major driver of diversion is addiction.

Dr. Shimi Kang, an addictions psychiatrist who has worked with hospital staff involved in drug diversion, said workplace stress and access to potent opioids creates a “perfect storm” for substance use.

“We have to recognize that healthcare practitioners are human too,” she said.

She said nurses often face high levels of stress and violence in the workplace and that adequate sleep, time off and support are the best ways to prevent addiction.

“We get so caught up in being the healer that we forget to heal ourselves,” said Kang.

Dr. Mark Haden, a professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health and a supervisor with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, said it shows the indiscriminate nature of addiction.

“Being employed by the system does not protect one from addiction,” he said.

Hydromorphone is sometimes used in opiate-replacement therapy as a substitute for stronger street-level drugs. Last month, Canada became the first country in the world to approve use of injectable hydromorphone in treating opioid use disorder.

Haden said making the drug legally accessible could prevent thefts — and deaths.

“If hospital staff who are also addicted to opiates had (open) access to them, they wouldn’t steal them,” he said. “I think the solution to the fentanyl crisis and people stealing from hospitals is the same.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/zakvescera




Source link

16Nov

Town Talk: $3.99 million benefits VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation

by admin

Naz Panahi and Devi Sangara co-chaired the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation's 23rd-annual Night of a Thousand Stars gala that reportedly raised $4 million for an MRI scanner and multi-campus programs.



Naz Panahi and Devi Sangara co-chaired the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation’s 23rd-annual Night of a Thousand Stars gala that reportedly raised $4 million for an MRI scanner and multi-campus programs.


Malcolm Parry / PNG

STARRY HIGH: Hospitals always have the edge when fundraising. So it was when the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation’s 23rd annual Night of a Thousand Stars gala reportedly raised $4,000 for each star in its title. OK: $4 million. That total delighted multi-time chair Devi Sangara and Naz Panahi, who co-chaired this year after several at-bats with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Ball and Arthritis Research Canada’s annual ARThritis Soirée.

Aquilini Group founder Luigi Aquilini was flanked by former police chief Jim Chu (left) and surgeon John Yee at the Night of a Thousand Stars event.


Aquilini Group founder Luigi Aquilini was flanked by former police chief Jim Chu (left) and surgeon John Yee at the Night of a Thousand Stars event.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

Still, the four megabucks raised were overpowered by last December’s $25 million donation from Gaglardi family members who received the foundation’s Leadership Award at the gala. The night’s proceeds will pay for a new MRI machine and support various programs at the two hospitals, the G.F. Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services. It was rewarding to see attending surgeons Marcel Dvorak and John Yee’s whose labours kept me working and, in Yee’s case, alive. Anyone disgruntled by this column now knows who to blame.

Spine surgeon and orthopedics professor Marcel Dvorak accompanied wife Sue at the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation's $3.99-million gala.


Spine surgeon and orthopedics professor Marcel Dvorak accompanied wife Sue at the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation’s $3.99-million gala.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

Founder Carol Lee chaired and Mayor Kennedy Stewart attended the Vancouver Chinatown gala to benefit a downtown social-housing complex.


Founder Carol Lee chaired and Mayor Kennedy Stewart attended the Vancouver Chinatown gala to benefit a downtown social-housing complex.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

Festive dragons surrounded Vancouver Chinatown gala chairs Carole Taylor and Sam Feldman while kicking off a Fairmont Hotel Vancouver banquet.


Festive dragons surrounded Vancouver Chinatown gala chairs Carole Taylor and Sam Feldman while kicking off a Fairmont Hotel Vancouver banquet.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

FORTUNE COOKING: Newly elected mayor Kennedy Stewart joined diverse attendees at the 11-year-old Vancouver Chinatown Foundation’s Vancouver Chinatown gala. The $1.1 million reportedly raised will benefit the 58 West Hastings social-housing complex. That sum was noteworthy for an event that Carol Lee founded only last year and that was MCed by former B.C. finance minister Carole Taylor and music-biz agent Sam Feldman.  Fairmont Hotel Vancouver chefs served dim sum, shrimp har gow, chicken sui mai and smoked maple sablefish to guests, many being devotees of the brisket, chicken, duck and pork at Lee’s year-old and much lauded Chinatown BBQ on East Pender Street.

Mortgage brokerage executive Meryll Dreyer launched a benefit for KARES that will fund programs to serve disadvantaged 16-to-24-year-olds.


Mortgage brokerage executive Meryll Dreyer launched a benefit for KARES that will fund programs to serve disadvantaged 16-to-24-year-olds.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

DOWN PAYMENT: Charity fundraisers seldom make seven figures at their first or even second events as the Vancouver Chinatown gala did. Still, Dreyer Group Mortgages COO Meryll Dreyer was pleased when her debut event for KARES (Kids At Risk Embracing Success) reportedly brought in $50,000 to aid disadvantaged 16-to-24-year-olds. Dreyer hopes to parallel the similar Invis Angels in The Night program where she also had a starter role.

Langley sheep farmer Marianne Iberg showed Shetland ewe Thumbelina at a celebration for wool in Gastown's Secret Location store.


Langley sheep farmer Marianne Iberg showed Shetland ewe Thumbelina at a celebration for wool in Gastown’s Secret Location store.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

BAA BAA: Fashion-industry professionals and customers celebrated Canadian Wool Week at Gastown’s Secret Location store recently. Before becoming cosy garments, sheep’s wool is washed, dried, oiled, carded, died, glazed and woven, not to mention sheared from sheep twice annually in two-to-eight-kg lots. Giving the event perspective, Butterfly Fibres principal Marianne Iberg brought three-year-old Shetland-breed twin ewes Sweetpea and Thumbelina from her family’s Langley farm. With winter imminent, having their fleeces clipper-ready mightn’t be the sheep’s best prospect. Encouraging for us, though.

The gift following Cindy and Ryan Beedie's 50th birthday party was his $50-million commitment to scholarships for bright but hard-up students.


The gift following Cindy and Ryan Beedie’s 50th birthday party was his $50-million commitment to scholarships for bright but hard-up students.

Malcolm Parry /

PNG

SHINING LIGHT: Ryan and Cindy Beedie’s pre-48th-birthday party at Malkin Bowl in 2016 had Huey Lewis and the News entertain 3,000 guests. Lewis’s hit song, Build Me Up, may have suggested a possible birthday present. Ditto Take Me To The Top by Loverboy’s Mike Reno, who sang at a repeat outdoors party this year. The present actually took shape at the couple’s official 50th birthday rock party in the Commodore Ballroom on Sept. 7. It would be $50 million. Not for them, though. That sum would launch the Beedie Luminaries Foundation. According to property-development firm principal Ryan, the foundation will provide scholarships to “bright, driven students from disadvantaged backgrounds … who are smart, but constrained by circumstance.” Some recipients may progress to Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, possibly humming Lewis’s Give Me The Keys.

RED, WHITE AND BLUET: Philippe Tortell, Mark Turin and Margot Young, University of B.C. anthropology, oceanography and law professors, edited and recently released a book titled Memory. It was sparked by post-First World recollections and a 2017 discussion at the varsity’s Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies that Tortell directs. Accepting that “the essays share an appreciation of the fragility and fluidity of memory,” the editors also note: “Why we forget is just as important as thinking about what we can remember.” French consul general Philippe Sutter, who donated a memorable amount of Château De Fesles wine to the release readings, contrasted attendees’ red and white poppies by adding the cornflower “bluet” with which his nation respects fallen warriors.

EVER REMEMBERED: Margot Young’s father Walter headed the UBC and, later, the University of Victoria’s political science departments. As a wittily perceptive political columnist to Vancouver magazine, when local periodicals had such things, he was politely asked why one monthly opus was a little overdue. “It’s a good reason,” he replied languidly by phone. “I have a brain tumour.” He perished, to widespread dismay, at age 51.

LOVIN’ YOU: Peter Wall, whose institute published the Memory book, will present his own composition while hosting the Wall Ball on Dec. 18. Past events featured live cattle, an ostrich, Santa Claus and miniskirted elves criss-crossing the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre’s glass ceiling while ball-goers dined below. This year, Canadian tenor Richard Margison will perform a “love song” for Vancouver that Wall wrote and frequently warbles.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: Where’s Wally Buono? In our hearts.

[email protected]
604-929-8456


Source link

7Nov

Pipes at VGH burst, sending dirty water into operating rooms while patients had surgery

by admin

A full complement of 18 to 20 operating rooms at Vancouver General Hospital will finally be back in use Thursday after a burst water sprinkler pipe caused unsterile water to leak into multiple operating rooms through lights and air vents while surgeries were taking place.

Postmedia has learned that midway through long, complex cancer and other urgent surgeries on Oct. 30, medical teams noticed water dripping from a handful of operating room (OR) ceilings, potentially compromising the safety of patients undergoing surgery. Operations in progress were completed, but half the ORs were then closed, resulting in the cancellation and rescheduling of nearly 100 urgent and lifesaving cases.

Hospital officials confirmed the crisis Wednesday.

A mishap during construction work on the third floor of the hospital was what led to the burst pipe, causing water to leak through a mechanical subfloor just above all the ORs on the second floor of the Jim Pattison Pavilion. The water then dripped through light and ventilation shafts into the ORs, but fortuitously, not directly onto anesthetized patients undergoing surgery.

It was 11 a.m. and several operations — some of them five hours in duration and longer — were in progress, with numerous patients in the holding area. Surgeons and infection control experts made immediate assessments on whether it was safe to continue the operations. In one case, a surgeon decided it was not safe to continue working in the leaking OR, so the patient on the table was temporarily closed up with sutures and the medical team moved the patient to an adjacent room where the all-day operation resumed.

One cardiac case that was in a critical stage proceeded in the leaking room as hospital staff sealed off the sterile area with plastic.

Dr. Marcel Dvorak, a spinal surgeon who is associate medical director at Vancouver Coastal Health, said multiple ORs had “active water” dripping into the peripheral areas of the ORs. Nurses and other hospital staff “flew into action” using blankets to soak up water on the floors and suctioning water off equipment and surfaces. Tens of millions of dollars worth of electronic and sterile surgical equipment had to be protected and sealed with plastic.

In the 10 days since the leak, dehumidifiers have been drying out the moisture and new drywall has been installed.

There were no “untoward” incidents involving patients developing infections or other surgical complications as a result of the mishap, according to hospital administrators. The event was disclosed to all patients effected.

In one OR, the operation continued without incident for a number of hours, and in another, a patient was moved while under anesthetic “because it was deemed to be the safest thing to do.” Several rooms were considered “mechanically safe” with electrical and humidity systems intact so operations in progress were completed, but 13 other cases that were scheduled for that day were cancelled, Dvorak said.

“All emergency cases, like trauma, were managed, and that’s saying a lot because 60 per cent of our cases are emergencies — like transplants, ruptured aneurysms, cardiac emergencies, spinal cord injuries, etc., which means they are unscheduled,” he said.

The construction work going on the floor above the operating rooms is a $102-million OR expansion that will see 16 new ORs open in 2021.

VGH does about 16,800 surgical cases a year and with the addition of 16 more, capacity will increase to about 19,000 cases per year. Typically surgeries that take place at VGH are complex cases, while UBC Hospital shoulders the “more predictable” day surgeries.

“VGH treats the sickest of the sick from all over the province,” Dvorak said.

The existing ORs at VGH are 30 years old and considered too small for many types of cases requiring big medical teams, robotics and imaging equipment. Eventually, the existing ORs could be decommissioned or replaced. Dvorak said the OR expansion is “on time and on budget.”

He said anyone who has ever done renovations knows they can expect problems of some sort. “This was an out of the blue incident.”


Andrea Bisaillon is VGH’s operations director for surgeries.

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

Andrea Bisaillon, an operations director at VGH, said: “The exact details of who did what is now being investigated. Our first priority was focusing on keeping patients and staff safe.”

She said PCL is the overall contractor for the construction project. The restoration company that has been retained for the salvage effort is called Proactive and “they are extremely aware of the fact that our first priority is the safety and lives of our patients.”

Dvorak said emergency preparedness exercises that hospital staff undergo to prepare for natural disasters such as earthquakes or other crises proved their worth.

“Simulation exercises that we do to learn how to handle mass casualties and other critical incidents help us prepare for these kinds of scenarios.”

Carrie Stefanson, a spokeswoman for the hospital and health authority, praised the efforts of hospital staff, both during and after the crisis.

During a week of repairs and remediation, VGH has continued to meet the needs for emergent, urgent and transplant surgeries, including a cardiac diversion case from Royal Columbian Hospital.”

The leak issues at VGH evoke a similar — if not more serious — crisis at Surrey Memorial Hospital six years ago when contractors broke a water main causing knee-deep flooding in the emergency department and other areas.

[email protected]

Twitter: @MedicineMatters




Source link

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.