New diagnostic tool can help Delta residents live long, healthy lives

It was an early August morning when long time Delta resident, Dennis Walsh, felt an odd utter across his chest. Instinctively he knew this was something serious and told his wife, Mary-Anne, he needed to go to Delta Hospital’s Emergency Department.

On route to the hospital, Dennis started to feel clammy and nauseous: warning signs of a heart attack. The last thing he remembers before going into cardiac arrest was handing over his health card at Triage.

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After receiving a phone call from her Mom, their daughter Carly raced to Delta Hospital. 
By the time she arrived, Dennis’s condition had deteriorated rapidly. Emergency physicians worked for two hours to stabilize him, shocking his heart back to a normal rhythm more than 25 times.

“It was the calmest chaos I’d ever seen,” says Carly. 
“Everyone knew their role; it was all under control.” Delta Hospital staff had alerted the surgeon on call at the tertiary hospital where Dennis would be transferred, and an ambulance was standing by. Time was of the essence: Dennis could not be transported for surgery until he was stable.

“The coordination between hospitals was so important,” says Carly. “Had there had been a delay of even 5 or 10 minutes, he might not have made it.” Thankfully, Dennis had the emergency procedure in time, stents were inserted into four blocked arteries and he has recovered well.

“I always knew Delta Hospital was great, but I didn’t know they would save my dad’s life,” says Carly.

Dennis’s story is not unique. Delta Hospital cares for a large population of patients with heart issues through services like the cardiac stress testing in their outpatient cardiology clinic. But that population is growing, and more needs to be done for patients where they live.

This is why Delta Hospital is investing in a major new diagnostic tool: an echo ultrasound. This brand-new service will greatly enhance their ability to diagnose acute heart problems, like heart attacks, heart failure and heart valve issues.

“This is the most important diagnostic tool to be added to Delta Hospital in the past 10 years,” says Dr. Shaw, Head of the Department of Medicine at Delta Hospital. “When patients like Dennis come in with serious heart problems, it will enable us to look at the heart directly with the ultrasound in order to make split-second decisions, providing lifesaving treatment.”

It will also greatly benefit non-emergency cardiac patients, who must now be referred to other facilities, where long wait lists often delay their diagnosis and treatment.

The Peter C. and Elizabeth Toigo Diagnostic Services Building, opening this Spring, will house the echo ultrasound. It is a valuable addition to the medical imaging and laboratory
 departments because Delta’s growing senior patient population is one of the oldest in Fraser Health. As a result, medical professionals are treating more complex cases. Delta Hospital needs your help to equip their staff with the tools they need so patients can lead a long and healthy life.

As Dennis points out, “Without the service at Delta Hospital, I had to travel for additional scans. And some of the other facilities are so big it’s hard to find your way around. It would be much easier at home at Delta Hospital, where there’s a good chance the person in the bed beside you is someone you know. That’s the kind of place it is.”

The echo ultrasound will transform the way cardiac patients at Delta Hospital are looked after and allow them to receive the best care right in their community.

Please give today.

You can’t hit the pause button on a cardiac emergency. Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation is preparing for the future of cardiac care at Delta Hospital. Please consider making a special donation towards the purchase of an echo ultrasound. This new service will enhance Delta Hospital’s ability to provide excellent care now and into the future.


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