This fall, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation needs your help to raise funds for a new diagnostic tool that is close to every patient’s heart: a specialized cardiac ultrasound.

It’s called a Transesophageal Echocardiogram, and our cardiac surgical team needs three new ones. The three cardiac ultrasounds cost $725,000, but together, every donation will add up to ensure that we have this essential equipment available for our cardiac patients. 

At Royal Jubilee Hospital, the cardiac surgical team performs 3 to 5 cardiac surgeries a day, operations that might last from 3 to 16 hours or longer. The Transesophageal Echocardiogram Machines are used in every one of these surgeries.

It also has to be available for every surgery in the operating room, from abdominal surgery to a patient with an aneurysm. If a patient’s blood pressure changes unexpectedly or their heart starts to fail, this equipment is used to quickly assess their heart and vascular system.

They are dramatically improved technology that give  3D, full colour, high-resolution video images. With them, surgeons can see things in your heart we would not be able to otherwise: a narrowing valve or a tiny hole. They can see the heart muscle, valves and major blood vessels in extraordinary detail, allowing them to precisely guide the surgery.

This cardiac ultrasound help assess crucial heart valve repairs and replacements. After the repair is made, while a patient is still in surgery, the ultrasound gives  immediate and detailed images that tell us if the heart is functioning as it should, or if further work is needed.  In many cases this assessment saves a patient’s life.

You can read about one cardiac patient, Brent Kaufmann, who might not be here today if Dr. Caton didn’t find what we did with this ultrasound.

Royal Jubilee is the referral centre for heart health for all 765,000 residents of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Island Communities: more than 3,200 inpatient cases a year. The hospital, known as a Cardiac Centre of Excellence, one of the finest in the country. But our skilled medical teams need specialized equipment to provide excellent care. Your gift today can put these vital tools in our doctor’s hands and help save lives.

 You are vitally important to my work! – Dr. Brent Caton, a Cardiac Anesthesiologist at Royal Jubilee Hospital