About Cathy Stovell

BHB Traffic Advisory: No through traffic at KEMH between Point Finger and Berry Hill roads for one week

Thursday 18 April 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public that there will be no through traffic on the campus of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) between Point Finger Road and Berry Hill Road for one week starting on Sunday 21 April 2024.  Through traffic is scheduled to resume on Monday 29 April 2024.

The closure is necessary to facilitate trenchwork across the KEMH road between the Acute Care Wing (ACW) ambulance bay and the ACW main visitor car park.

People will be able to access the Emergency Department, the main ACW entrance and the ACW visitor parking lot from Point Finger Road.

Access from Berry Hill Road will stop at the Botanical Gardens’ gate to KEMH.

-ends-

18 April 2024 Home Page, News

No through traffic at KEMH between Point Finger and Berry Hill roads on Saturday

Wednesday 20 March 2024: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public that there will be no through traffic on the campus of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) between Point Finger Road and Berry Hill Road from 7:30am to 2pm on Saturday 23 March 2024. This is to facilitate removal of and old fuel tank in the boiler room at the basement of the facility.

People will be able to access the Emergency Department, the main Acute Care Wing (ACW) entrance and the ACW visitor parking lot from Point Finger Road.

Access from Berry Hill Road will stop at the Botanical Gardens’ gate to KEMH.

-ends-

20 March 2024 Home Page, News

Generous donation after life-saving cardiac care

Thursday 29 February 2024: Medical equipment and staff training worth half a million dollars has been donated to Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) by two patients.

Mr Bengt Nygren and his wife Brigitta were so impressed with the care they received from BHB cardiologists that they donated $500,000 to the hospital.

The couple, in their eighties, moved to Bermuda just before the COVID-19 pandemic. On separate occasions they became patients of BHB’s cardiologists: Mr Nygren with BHB Consultant Cardiologist and Director of Outpatient Specialty Clinics Dr Joseph Yammine; and Mrs Nygren with BHB Director of Cardiology Dr Sam Mir.

Each received a diagnosis which led to them having cardiac procedures overseas.

“We were so pleased and grateful for the care and attention both Dr Yammine and Dr Mir afforded us,” said Mr Nygren. “Our diagnoses were actually missed by our previous physicians overseas. And it’s all thanks to the BHB team that we were able to have our operations and can look forward to many more years together with our family.

“My wife and I wanted to express our gratitude and felt that a donation to strengthen the work of the department was appropriate,” he added.

The Nygrens made their half-million dollar donation to BHB’s Cardiac Diagnostic Unit through the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation.

“Mr and Mrs Nygren’s decision to show their gratitude for services we rendered, with this generous donation is inspiring,” said BHB CEO and President, Scott Pearman. “We are a community hospital and our staff strive to provide the best service to every patient. We thank the Nygren’s for their gift. It has enabled us to begin expanding our cardiac services which will benefit all Bermuda residents,” he added.

“Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation is pleased to have facilitated the donation on behalf of Mr and Mrs Nygren,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Kim Pratt. “We are very grateful to the Nygrens for recognising the need and supporting BHB in enhancing cardiac services to the community.”

“The funds were used to purchase 14 new mobile ECG carts which are used throughout the hospital, and a treadmill used to screen for coronary artery disease,” said Dr Mir. “Some of the funds were also used to train staff in a new service BHB is developing. The vascular programme will assist in assessing and treating peripheral artery disease.”

Dr Yammine said: “The Nygrens are a very thoughtful and caring couple. Their gift has already helped so many and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

-ends-

Photo

Pictured from left: Kim Pratt, Executive Director, Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation; David Lang, President, Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation; Dr Joseph Yammine, BHB Consultant Cardiologist and Director of Outpatient Specialty Clinics; Marlah Edwards, BHB Clinical Supervisor, Cardiology; Bengt Nygren; Scott Pearman, BHB CEO and President; Dr Sam Mir, BHB Director of Cardiology; and Preston Swan, BHB Acting Chief Operating Officer.

29 February 2024 Home Page, News

Genuine caring and strong determination

Portrait photo of Curlena Smith outside with banana trees and hibiscus in the background. Curlena is wearing a black top and red-framed glasses and has her hair pulled back. She is smiling.

In her teens, Curlena Smith had already set her sights on a career in nursing.

Curlena was in the nursing programme at Delaware State University and had completed a summer internship at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in 20000 when she had to defer her studies.

“It was a difficult decision but necessary at the time,” says Curlena. “My mother was a single parent of three, and my paternal grandmother was ill and required home care.”

Still passionate about nursing, she worked full time as a nurses aide in various community settings. In 2004, she returned to Bermuda Hospitals Board as a nurses aide on the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute’s (MWI’s) Reid Ward. This exposure ignited her interest in psychiatric nursing, and she decided she wanted to specialise in this area if she were ever given the opportunity to resume her nursing studies.

To read the full article in Your Future magazine (February 2024), click here.

12 February 2024 Media

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Days

22 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board wishes the public a safe and happy holiday weekend. If urgent medical care is required the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in St. David’s, will be open from 9am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday. It will be closed on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December.

Please note that if your condition is serious, attendance at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) may still be necessary. BHB also reminds the public that emergency department physicians attend to patients in order of the severity of their condition.

If you need to contact the UCC call 298-7730. To contact KEMH Emergency Department call 239-2009.

-ends-

22 December 2023 Home Page, News

Blood Donor Centre Call for O-Positive Blood Donations

Wednesday 6 December 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is asking people with O-positive blood to donate. Donors and potential donors are asked to call 236-5067 to make an appointment.

If you are unsure about your blood type but are willing to donate, please contact the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre at (441) 236-5067 or blood.donor@bhb.bm, by WhatsApp at (441) 533-9553.  Appointments are preferred, although walk-ins are accepted.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is located at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2:30pm, and on Friday from 8:30am to 1pm. It is closed on weekends and public holidays.

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre team thanks the community for their kind assistance in ensuring they can continue to save lives.

More information about blood donation is available online at bermudahospitals.bm/be-a-donor/.

-ends-

6 December 2023 Home Page, News

Green is good for your mental wellness

Wednesday 29 November 2023: The management and staff of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are urging the public again this year to be mindful of their mental health particularly in this holiday season. Starting on Friday evening, you will notice a soft green light illuminating the Acute Care Wing main entrance of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH).

“Green is the international colour for mental health awareness,” says BHB Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams. “It has been identified as alleviating stress and allowing healing. It’s a colour of nature and in Bermuda, is all around us. There is also significant evidence that being around nature is restorative for our mental health,” she adds.

Dr Neilson-Williams also notes: “The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many different reasons; expectations -including the expectation you should be happy, financial stress, holiday preparation, family conflict, changed weather or spending the holidays alone.

“Coming together with families can also be a source of stress, it is important to set boundaries and to avoid conflict wherever possible. Saying no to situations may actually be a positive for your mental wellness.

“Take a break from social media – constantly comparing yourself to apparent ‘picture perfect’ holidays are unhealthy and unrealistic. This can also lead to feelings of loneliness or emptiness as the expectation is we are having an amazing time all through the holidays.”

Dr Neilson-Williams suggests people try to identify things they are grateful for, that they consider volunteering or identify ways they may be able to be around others to lessen any feelings of loneliness.

“Ahead of any gift buying, set a budget within your means, to avoid January bills arriving with further stress,” she advises. “Essentially try to do things in moderation, as it can be tempting to overindulge.

“And on the green theme, please get out and about around the island,” she says. “Take a walk on one of the railways trails or in a park. You will most likely feel much calmer after doing so.”

At dusk on Friday 1 December, we will turn on the lighting as a reminder to the public to take care of their mental wellbeing,” says Acting Chief Operating Officer Preston Swan. “The lights will remain on every evening for the entire month, so as you drive along Point Finger Road, remember the green light means you should breathe deeply, pause from your hurriedness, and savour at least a moment of relaxation. It’s good for your mental health.”

-ends

29 November 2023 Home Page, News

Donation brings new treatment for enlarged prostate

Wednesday 22 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today thanks the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation for facilitating the donation of $52,500 from The Argus Group to purchase a GreenLight XPS. This equipment will bring the latest laser treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, more commonly called prostate gland enlargement, to Bermuda.

GreenLight’s laser technology* offers patients better outcomes compared to traditional surgery, with reduced hospital stays, fewer complications and faster recovery. Over 100 local men are expected to benefit each year. Currently, patients who require surgical intervention for an enlarged prostate only have a traditional surgical option available on the island.

The new treatment is expected to begin in January, once the required power upgrades to the operating rooms are complete and BHB nurses and theatre practitioners have been trained.

BHB Consultant Urologist Dr Jonathan Makanjuola comments: “We are so grateful for this wonderful donation from The Argus Group through the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation. This is a fantastic development for our local urology service.

“Forty percent of the patients we see in the BHB Urology Department have an enlarged prostate, which can be extremely troublesome to patients. If medications become ineffective, surgery is really the only option.

“The great news for men undergoing the GreenLight procedure is that it’s as effective as traditional, transurethral resection of the prostate, what we commonly refer to as TURP surgery, but it also brings many other benefits. Men experience less time in surgery, fewer days using a catheter, shorter post-operative recovery, and fewer complications, and 95% of cases can be done as an outpatient. This is three times higher than the traditional surgery option, where only 32% of patients can be discharged the same day. Sexual function is also less likely to be impacted.

“As it’s a shorter procedure that doesn’t require a hospital bed, we also expect that more of these surgeries can be undertaken. This should help us reduce wait times, which are currently at about six to eight weeks.”

The GreenLight treatment is already recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK and is available in other countries, such as the US, Canada and Europe.

BHB Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller comments: “On behalf of BHB, thank you to the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation and The Argus Group. This new treatment will offer an improved experience and outcome for men with an enlarged prostate compared to traditional surgery. It also reduces pressure on hospital beds and so is less costly to the healthcare system. In addition, the procedure is much less likely to be postponed if there are bed capacity issues.

“We are very grateful for the donation, which helps us provide a better quality, safer and less costly service.”

Kim Pratt, executive director of the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation, comments: “We are so happy to be able to facilitate this generous donation from The Argus Group to BHB for a service that is going to make a big difference to over 100 men each year. This speaks to our vision to support BHB in enhancing health and healthcare services in Bermuda.

“Thanks to Argus’ generous donation we now only need $17,500 to completely fund the new equipment. If you would like to make a donation please email kim.pratt@bhcf.bm or visit Donate Now (bhcf.bm) to make a donation online.  Please reference that the donation is for GreenLight.”

Argus Americas Chief Executive Peter Lozier comments: “With the alarming rate of prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement in Bermuda and its profound implications on the lives of our male population, it’s imperative that we champion technology that provides timely treatment for these conditions.

“The introduction of the Greenlight Laser XPS system marks improvement in surgical care. Through this contribution, we are facilitating quicker treatment and recovery, reducing healthcare costs, shortening hospital stays and, most importantly, saving lives.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

*GreenLight works by using a laser to vaporise excess prostate tissue, rather than cutting away the tissue as is done in the traditional surgery called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The procedure allows rapid tissue vaporisation, resulting in a faster procedure with less bleeding and associated complications.

Clinical evidence shows that GreenLight is as effective at treating an enlarged prostate as TURP and has many benefits to patient experiences and outcomes over the older surgical procedure. Benefits to patients include:

  • 95% of cases can be completed as outpatient procedures, compared to one or two days in hospital after TURP
  • Faster recovery with less pain and discomfort and a quicker return to normal activities
  • Fewer catheterisation days
  • Reduced bleeding. The laser coagulates blood vessels, minimising the risk of bleeding and reducing the need for blood transfusions. (The need for blood transfusions in the traditional TURP procedure is six times higher than for the GreenLight procedure.)
  • Suitable for patients on anticoagulant medications
  • Sexual function more likely to be maintained after GreenLight procedure
  • Lower risk of TURP syndrome, when excessive fluid absorption during the procedure leads to electrolyte imbalance

-ends-

22 November 2023 Home Page, News

BHB resumes pre-COVID visiting hours

Friday 17 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board has resumed its pre-Covid visiting hours which are slightly longer on most units.

“Visiting hours on our Inpatient Medical-Surgical Units at KEMH have returned to 11am to 8pm allowing family and friends more time with their loved ones,” said BHB Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson. “We recognise how impactful every visitation minute is to both our patients and their friends and families, particularly in the holiday season when loneliness is often felt more strongly.”

Visiting hours for all units at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are available on the BHB website bermudahospitals.bm and are listed below. General in-patient inquiries are also available by visiting or calling the KEMH main reception desk on 239-2001 or the MWI main reception desk on 236-3770.

KEMH Ward Visiting Hours

  • Inpatient Medical-Surgical Units (Acute Care Wing)
    11am to 8pm
  • Intensive Care Unit (General Wing)
    Only immediate family is allowed to visit ICU: 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm
    Rest period (no visitors): 2pm to 4pm
  • Maternity Unit (General Wing)
    Mothers and fathers: 8am to 8pm
    Grandparents, siblings and general visitors: noon to 2pm and 4pm to 8pm
    Quiet time: 2pm to 4pm
    Visitors for gynaecology patients: noon to 8pm
  • Gosling Paediatric Unit (General Wing)
    Paediatric patients: 7:30am to 7:30pm
    Paediatric over-night stay: 7:30pm to 7:30am
    Adult patients: noon to 8pm
  • Long Term Care Unit (General Wing)
    noon to 8pm
  • Agape House
    Open visiting hours

MWI Ward Visiting Hours

  • Somers Annex and Somers Ward 
    noon to 8pm
  • Reid Ward:
    noon to 8pm
  • Devon Lodge:
    noon to 8pm
  • Child & Adolescent Services
    The nursing team arranges visiting times with families during these hours:
    Weekdays: 6pm to 8pm
    Weekends: noon to 8pm

-ends-

17 November 2023 Home Page, News

BHB celebrates World Stroke Day with free health screenings for everyone

Thursday 26 October 2023: Are you at high risk for having a stroke? You will be able to find out as Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) celebrates World Stroke Day on Monday 30 October.

“We will be offering free health screenings to the public from 11am to 4pm on Monday in the main lobby of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH),” said BHB Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller. “Staff from our Primary Stroke Centre will conduct a stroke risk assessment for attendees at the health screenings and will provide each of them with a Stroke Risk Scorecard. Blood pressure, pulse testing and blood sugar are the screenings that will be done. We are pleased that the Bermuda Diabetes Association has partnered with us in respect of blood sugar testing.”

Stroke is an epidemic in Bermuda. It can have debilitating effects – not just to the person who has experienced the stroke, but also to their family. BHB Consultant Geriatrician Dr Srinath Meadipudi was Stroke Director of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, UK before he joined BHB last year.  He explains exactly what happens in a stroke, and details the signs and symptoms in the article below:-

Every October the world comes together to observe World Stroke Day, a day dedicated to increasing awareness about stroke risks and the critical importance of stroke prevention and timely treatment.

Stroke, often referred to as a “brain attack,” occurs suddenly when the blood flow to the brain is compromised, depriving it of oxygen. It is a condition that ranks among the leading causes of death and disability in developed countries. Mini strokes, called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), are caused by a temporary blockage that disrupts the blood supply to a particular part of the brain. The symptoms are the same as a stroke, but fully resolve within 24-hours. The good news is that strokes are often preventable, and with swift medical intervention, their devastating effects can often be minimised.

Strokes come in two main types: ischemic and haemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes, which are the most common, occur when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel supplying the brain. Haemorrhagic strokes, although less frequent, are equally dangerous and result from bleeding within the brain tissue, typically due to a ruptured blood vessel.

Strokes result in reduced oxygen supply to the brain causing brain cells to die very quickly. There are billions of brain cells and when stroke occurs, approximately 2 million of them are lost every minute. The window of opportunity for effective stroke treatment is narrow but crucial. Prompt medical attention is the key, as a life-saving procedure called thrombolysis can dissolve the clot and restore blood supply to the brain. However, this therapy must be administered within 4.5 hours of the onset of symptoms, with better recovery if given as early as possible.

A major risk factor for strokes is atrial fibrillation (AF), a condition characterised by an irregular heartbeat. AF can predispose individuals to the formation of blood clots in the heart, which may travel to the brain and cause blockages in blood vessels there. Notably, some AF patients experience palpitations, while others may not have noticeable symptoms until an electrocardiogram (EKG) reveals the condition. Therefore, regular pulse checks are essential, particularly for individuals at risk.

People with heart conditions and overactive thyroid gland problems are at increased risk of developing AF. They should make regular medical check-ups and heart health management a priority.

Strokes are often preventable through adopting a healthy lifestyle. This entails quitting smoking, moderating alcohol intake, maintaining an ideal weight, being physically active, adhering to a healthy diet, managing stress and effectively controlling health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. For individuals with AF, proper medication management to prevent developing a clot is crucial.

While strokes are commonly associated with older age, they can affect individuals of any age. Where there is a family history of strokes under the age of 60, genetic factors may play a role, necessitating proactive measures and careful risk assessment in younger individuals presenting with stroke symptoms.

BHB has established a Primary Stroke Centre at KEMH, which offers state-of-the-art facilities and clot-dissolving treatment to eligible patients arriving within 4.5 hours of experiencing stroke symptoms.

Additionally, for those patients who are not suitable for clot busting treatment, the Stroke Centre has a clinical affiliation agreement with The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland where our patients are considered for a specialised procedure known as thrombectomy. Thrombectomies are aimed at removing clots from blood vessels in the brain.

Early recognition of stroke symptoms is of paramount importance. Even if the symptoms seem to resolve, medical evaluation is still vital, as the risk of a subsequent stroke remains high.

 

BE FAST campaign: A Life-Saving Acronym

The BE FAST campaign provides a valuable tool for remembering the signs of a stroke and the urgency of action. BEFAST stands for:

  • Balance: Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?
  • Eye movements: Are there problems with vision, like double vision or partial blindness?
  • Facial weakness: Does the face droop on one side when smiling?
  • Arm weakness: Can both arms be raised equally?
  • Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred, or can a simple sentence be repeated correctly?
  • Time: If any of these signs are observed, it’s time to call 911 without delay.

Strokes are life-altering and all too often, life-threatening events. Yet, with knowledge and timely action, they can be prevented, and their impact reduced. By embracing a healthy lifestyle, understanding the risks, and being vigilant about stroke symptoms, we can collectively reduce stroke incidence and improve outcomes for those affected.

As we observe World Stroke Day, let us remember that knowledge is our most powerful tool for creating a healthier future and time is of the essence in stroke treatment. Together, we can make a significant impact on stroke prevention and care.

-ends-

26 October 2023 Home Page, News