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Patient Care

You are the heart of everything we do

Thanks to our generous donors, three critical projects: High Acuity Unit; 3T MRI; and hybrid operating room; are on track to improve patient care today and at the new St. Paul’s Hospital.

by Melanie Scott

Thanks to our generous community, three critical projects are on track to improve patient care today and at the new St. Paul’s.

Bridging the gap with a High Acuity Unit

High acuity care is a growing specialty that fills the gap between everyday inpatient care and the critical care patients receive in the intensive care unit (ICU).

In a High Acuity Unit (HAU), staff with special training assess, monitor, and stabilize patients recovering from surgery, those in respiratory distress, or those transferred in from another unit in worsening condition. This close monitoring is unique to the HAU and gives vulnerable patients faster, more precise care. With your support, St. Paul’s first HAU is under construction and slated to become fully operational in October 2020. Much of the new HAU equipment we install now will move with us to the new St. Paul’s.

Leading the way in cardiac imaging with 3T MRI

MRI has become an increasingly valuable diagnostic tool. This is especially true at St. Paul’s, BC’s leading centre for cardiac MRI procedures. We provide some of the country’s most specialized MRI exams and as a result of this expertise, the number of MRIs we do has more than tripled over the past five years.

With our two existing MRIs at full capacity, generous donors stepped up to help fund a state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner. It can produce incredibly detailed, high-quality images of the

heart in just 45 minutes. When it becomes operational in February 2021, about half of its clinical capacity will be devoted to cardiac care. The rest of its time will be dedicated to research. Without MRI equipment, many of our global contributions to heart, lung, kidney, HIV/AIDS, and emergency medicine research wouldn’t have been possible.

Advancing surgical care with a hybrid operating room

The Centre for Heart Valve Innovation at St. Paul’s has saved countless lives at home and around the world thanks to a technique pioneered right here. Using transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), doctors can replace a faulty heart valve using a single tiny incision in an almost routine outpatient procedure.

Your donations have helped us upgrade to a state-of-the-art hybrid operating room for TAVI (and other procedures). What makes it so special is that it combines the features of a traditional operating room with a suite of advanced imaging systems that allow surgeons to see with amazing clarity and to operate with unprecedented accuracy.

These improvements have also bolstered our virtual teaching lab. This in-house broadcast centre allows us to live-stream these innovative procedures to surgeons around the world. At last count, the team at St. Paul’s had trained doctors in 40 countries to save more than 350,000 patients.

Having a hybrid operating room now will improve and accelerate the procedures and innovations we’ll use when we get to the new St. Paul’s.

To continue to support the incredible work at St. Paul’s, please give at

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