April 15, 2024

Northern Lights Regional Well being Centre completes first knee substitute surgical procedure

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Simply someday after making medical historical past at Northern Lights Regional Well being Centre in January, Randy Balsom was again residence and joyful.

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The 61-year-old native is the primary affected person to obtain a knee substitute right here as a part of the location’s new hip-and-knee substitute (arthroplasty) surgical program. Beforehand, many space residents needed to journey to Edmonton for the process.

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“It’s nice to have a service like this proper right here in Fort McMurray,” says Balsom. “The care I obtained was top-notch and it was all a clean expertise. The surgical procedure took about an hour. I used to be strolling round with some assist — even up a number of steps — a short while after my surgical procedure. I used to be impressed with the complete expertise.”

The surgical program is a part of the Alberta Surgical Initiative (ASI), which was launched by Alberta Well being Companies (AHS) and Alberta Well being in 2019 to cut back surgical wait occasions for Albertans. By the ASI, the native hospital purchased further working room tools and employed further employees to assist and launch the arthroplasty program.

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Previous to Balsom’s knee surgical procedure, about 50 hip surgical procedures had been accomplished at Northern Lights because the arthroplasty program started in July 2023. At the moment, hospital surgical groups anticipate performing as much as 32 surgical procedures each month.

“Our expert doctor and surgical workforce have accomplished a improbable job in making certain the profitable launch of this new surgical program,” says Dr. Fauzia Haq Nawaz, facility medical director for the Northern Lights Regional Well being Centre and Willow Sq. Persevering with Care Centre.

“Being able to supply this service is a large win. It ensures many sufferers not have to journey out of the group for these kinds of surgical procedures.”

“We’re extremely excited to now be finishing knee-replacement surgical procedures,” provides Kelsey Hickey, supervisor of inpatient surgical procedure and medical gadget reprocessing on the hospital.

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“When this system first began, our first objective was to concentrate on finishing hip circumstances. This method gave our employees time to turn out to be extra snug and educated with the processes concerned in providing these kinds of surgical procedures.”

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Randy Balsom, a Fort McMurray resident, is the primary affected person to have a knee substitute on the Northern Lights Regional Well being Centre (NLRHC), which he obtained on Jan. 22, 2024. Picture provided by AHS

Kim Bodnar, this system’s Case Supervisor, is one in all many employees members who ensures clean, complete take care of sufferers throughout the complete course of.

Two weeks previous to surgical procedure, Bodnar meets with sufferers, opinions their well being, and shares what to anticipate earlier than, throughout and after the substitute. Sufferers additionally get a pre-op surgical booklet which outlines extra data.

“The in-person assembly is a superb alternative to verify the affected person is snug,” says Bodnar. “There might be lots of data — and it may be overwhelming. I attempt to reply their questions and ensure they’re as knowledgeable as attainable.”

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Employees decide what tools the affected person will want post-surgery to assist their each day dwelling, develop train and rehabilitation plans, and help with discharge planning.

Most hip and knee surgical procedures are accomplished inside 60 to 90 minutes. Sufferers are discharged inside a day or two. Well being centres in Hinton, Grande Prairie, Bonnyville and Westlock additionally present these surgical procedures throughout the AHS North Zone.

“We’ve efficiently met these objectives with the assistance from each our employees and the sufferers,” says Hickey. “The sufferers have been dedicated — and motivated — to rise up and transferring after their surgical procedure. Our employees take pleasure in serving to them do this, in addition to ensuring they’ve the helps they want.”

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