IV SMART Pumps are lifelines.

My name is Jim Uruqhart. I’m 81 years old, born and raised in Scotland, but a longtime resident of Wooler. I spent most of my working life as a teaching master at Loyalist College until I retired.

I’m writing to you today to ask you to join me in supporting the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation’s IV SMART Pump campaign this Christmas. Let me tell you why I feel so strongly about this.

Over the span of five weeks this fall, I had to visit the Trenton Memorial Hospital emergency department twice, once by ambulance. My health has not been the greatest over the past few years. As a younger man, I was never sick until I became a diabetic, and now I also have neuropathy in my legs. For me, having a fully equipped hospital close to home is very important. I can’t say enough about the care and treatment I received from the ER physicians Dr. Perera and Dr. Hayman.

My first visit was prompted when I was feeling extremely nauseous and fevered. My breathing was erratic and I felt quite disoriented. Through testing, it was determined that I was experiencing a urinary tract infection, quite common for people my age. I was also dehydrated, so I was immediately given three bags of saline intravenously to counteract it. Without this treatment, I could have suffered diminished mental capacity, low blood pressure, and/or dizziness, which could have increased my risk of falling. Most of us know, as seniors, that can lead to a broken hip and then pneumonia. Needless to say, I was very lucky the TMH ER got everything under control.

The second time I had to go to the ER I had been shivering uncontrollably. I had a high fever and rapid heartbeat. This time, it was determined that I had a viral infection, and was once again hooked up to an IV pump to deliver fluids so my heart rate could return to normal and I could be discharged back home
to recover.

Imagine being admitted to the hospital emergency department where you’re connected to an intravenous pump to give you relief from what’s ailing you but then, while you wait, trusting that you will get better, you feel your heart start to race. You’re short of breath, feeling very weak and then your monitor starts
sounding off. You’re having a heart attack or you pass out. Did you know that you could get sicker than when you came in – or die – because the IV pump was administering too much or too little of the medication meant to help you. Can you imagine going in for day surgery for something minor, but the anesthetist has a hard time waking you back up? These stories aren’t fictional; they really can happen because medication errors are the number one injury reported in hospitals and older IV Pumps can fail.

QHC – Trenton Memorial Hospital wants to eliminate this risk to their patients with the replacement of all current IV pumps with the new IV SMART pumps. Nearly 90 per cent of patients will rely on an intravenous pump for their care at TMH – be it the emergency department, surgery, the inpatient unit, treatment clinics, or even for a CT Scan. Intravenous pumps are essential, as they deliver fluids, analgesics, medication, blood and blood products, pain medication, antibiotics, insulin and more to the patient. New “SMART” pumps use the latest technology to monitor, manage and distribute medications. They contain comprehensive drug libraries updated regularly through their Wi-Fi capabilities, plus have enhanced safety features that will help hospital staff give the right dosages over the right period of time.

Did you know that our hospital relies on community support to purchase hospital equipment?

Our tax dollars help pay for the operations of the hospital but not the medical equipment. We are fortunate that this community is passionate about TMH and very supportive of its needs. This year, a total of 67 IV SMART Pumps are being replaced in all departments throughout the hospital at a cost of $5,000 each. I urge you to give to the IV SMART Pump campaign. It is a gift for everyone coming to TMH for their medical care, from babies to seniors, emergency to surgery and TMH critically needs these replaced.

I was fortunate to have TMH close to where I live and a great medical staff to take care of me when I needed them the most. I was lucky there were no medication errors at any time and I was able to go home healthier than when I arrived. Please help me – help ensure that TMH has the equipment they need to provide the very best care – free from risk – for you, your loved ones, and your friends. Together, let’s make sure patients get the accurate dosages they require from their health-care treatment.

A gift to the IV SMART Pump campaign can make a world of difference and YOU can too! Please join me by giving. They truly are lifelines.

Wishing you the best of this holiday season to and yours.

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