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Hyperbaric chamber service to resume from 1 July 2020

Friday 26 June 2020: Bermuda Hospital Board is pleased to inform referring physicians and the diving community that its hyperbaric chamber services will resume on 1 July 2020 for elective and emergency service.

The hyperbaric chamber is a treatment chamber used for certain medical (specific types of ulcers) and certain surgical conditions likely to benefit from hyperbaric oxygen treatment. It is also used for diving accidents such as arterial gas embolism, and decompression sickness (‘the bends’). The chamber was closed earlier this year in response to the pandemic and increasing COVID-19 infections in Bermuda. The chamber oxygen was diverted in anticipation of a surge of seriously ill COVID-19 patients who would need all available oxygen in the hospital. Additionally, staff members from the department were seconded to and supported the critical care units in the management of the COVID-19 patients.

Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency & Hyperbaric Services, comments: “BHB prepared early in case Bermuda experienced a surge of seriously unwell patients. To support a threefold increase in critical care beds and ventilator capacity, we had to preserve oxygen and redeploy some of the hyperbaric and wound care staff. We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 infections, and the continued low prevalence in Bermuda suggests it is safe to resume the service.”

Dr Okereke adds: “Recognising that COVID-19 remains a threat and to ensure the safety of the patients and the staff, all the necessary infection control precautions will be followed for all patients and staff. We will continue to monitor the situation closely in case the situation changes. We would like to thank the community for their patience and for understanding of the need to temporarily suspend this service.”

26 June 2020 Home Page, News

BHB road traffic accident statistics for January-May 2020

Wednesday 17 June 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board road traffic accident statistics for the period 1 January – 31 May 2020 are as follows:

  • 65 cases were seen in the Emergency
  • 2 people were admitted to ICU
  • 11 people were admitted to acute wards (not including ICU)
  • one child, an 11-year-old, was among those admitted to acute wards due to road traffic accidents.

You can download a PDF of these statistics below.

2020 Bermuda Hospitals Board Road Traffic Accident Statistics 1 January – 31 May

 

17 June 2020 Home Page, News

Freisenbruch Meyer wins the 2019-2020 Corporate Blood Drive Competition

Tuesday 16 June 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Ministry of Health today announce that Freisenbruch Meyer has won the 2019-2020 Corporate Blood Drive Competition.

Click here for a short video announcing the winner.

The annual competition, now in its seventh year, saw 16 businesses compete by having employees and their friends and families donate blood on their behalf. This year 371 donations were made as part of the competition, which comprises about 20% of all donations made during the year.

Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP, comments: “Congratulations, Freisenbruch Meyer! This competition continues to be a driving force to encourage blood donation in Bermuda. Thank you to all 16 competing companies. While there can only be one winner, every company who supports the competition is helping save lives in Bermuda.”

Other competing companies in 2019/2020 were: Argo/Ariel Re, Aspen, Butterfield Bank, Bermuda Police Service, Butterfield & Vallis, Chubb, Dept of Corrections, Fidelity, Hamilton Insurance Group, Hamilton Princess & Beach Cub, Kitson Group of Companies, Lancashire Insurance Services, Renaissance Re, Sirius, Sampo International.

Dr Clyde Wilson, Chief of Pathology at the BHB, adds: “We are grateful to all the competing companies, but Freisenbruch Meyer earned the trophy with regular blood drives throughout the year. It is so important for people to donate blood. We rely on a wonderful group of regular donors, and this competition helps encourage more people to donate, which we desperately need. So thank you to all the competing companies this year! We hope more companies join in the coming year and grow the donor pool further. This friendly competition can be a way of generating engagement and raising morale, as well as supporting a critical service that saves lives in our community everyday.”

Companies are urged to email the Blood Donor Centre at blood.donor@bhb.bm if they are interested in competing in the next competition.

16 June 2020 Home Page, News

Lamb Foggo UCC services resume with revised hours

Friday 12 June 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board today is pleased to announce the re-opening of the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) with revised hours from Tuesday 16 June 2020.

The UCC will open with a physician and a nurse on duty from noon to 8pm on weekdays, and 9am to 9pm on weekends. X-ray services will initially be limited to Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. COVID-19 testing will not be available at the UCC. People should book a COVID-19 test at the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at Southside, and if they are experiencing symptoms call their GP for advice and guidance.

In the UCC, masks must be worn at all time and a maximum of three people will be allowed in the waiting area at any given time. Physical distancing markers are on the floor inside and outside the facility. People seeking care should come into the building alone as the waiting room cannot accommodate additional visitors. The only exception will be for parents bringing a child for care, or carers with vulnerable or combative patients. Visitors who accompany a patient should otherwise wait in their car or away from the facility.

Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency & Hyperbaric Services, comments: “We had to temporarily suspend UCC services due to our concern that the pandemic would create pressures in the Emergency Department that would require all staff. We are very pleased to see the continued low prevalence of COVID-19 and, while this continues, we will resume UCC services. We remain cautious at this stage and have factored the curfew hours into our initial opening. As before, the services remain for minor injuries and illnesses only. People with serious or life-threatening conditions that may require diagnostics, surgery or specialist attention should go directly to the Emergency Department or call 911.”

12 June 2020 Home Page, News

KEMH acute care visiting guidelines available on website

Friday 5 June 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board has today posted a factsheet with details about the current visiting limitations for acute care units at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (BHB COVID-19 Phase One Visiting Factsheet.) A short animation has also been posted to help inform people about the current guidelines.

 

Norma Smith, Vice President Acute and Ambulatory, comments: “We have fielded a lot of calls about the new visiting policy, so we want to make the information as freely available as possible. We are aware that many people want to visit their loved ones in hospital, but we have to remain cautious while the threat of COVID-19 remains. The acute care units care for our biggest patient group and with new admissions every day, we hope these additional resources are useful.”

There are four KEMH acute care units. Three are in the Acute Care Wing (Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re and Catlin Lindo), and one in the General Wing (Curtis Ward).

The only exception for the following requirements are patients in isolation (including those with non-COVID-19 infectious diseases), and patients awaiting the results of COVID-19 tests.

Visiting Requirements for KEMH Acute Care Wards:
• Patients in all the acute care wards can designate two support people to visit.
• Visitors are required to check in first at the front desk in the ACW, where the names of all support people are listed.
• They can visit up to two hours between 12 noon and 6pm every day.
• Only one person can visit at a time in Curtis Ward, where there are public and semi-public rooms.
• Two people can visit in the ACW units as rooms are larger and private, so physical distancing can be maintained.
• Visitors must remain masked and maintain physical distancing at all times (even with patients).
• Visitors should also wash hands regularly and well on entry and exit to the hospital, ward and patient room and in between if necessary.
• Visitors should also only use public restrooms, and not use patient bathrooms.

5 June 2020 Home Page, News

BHB moves to limited visitation

Wednesday 3 June 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that it will allow limited visiting for its acute care patients in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) from Wednesday 3 June 2020.  This is a phase one relaxation of visiting restrictions.

To safeguard patients and staff, visiting was stopped in April, except for end of life, births and unwell children. This was due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the community and the risks they posed to patients who were already unwell.

Judy Richardson, Chief of Nursing, comments: “We are not out of the woods yet and COVID-19 remains a threat. However, we understand the huge difference it will make to those in our care to see their loved ones. We are moving cautiously and monitoring the COVID-19 presence in Bermuda closely, but hope that continued low infection rates will allow us to gradually relax further in the coming weeks and months ahead.”

Norma Smith, Vice President of Acute and Ambulatory, comments: “Visitors are a vital support for patients, bringing love and connection to those in our care. It was such a hard decision to stop visitation, and as long as infection rates remain low and all government rules on wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene are followed, we will allow limited visitation from 3 June.”

The one exception to the change is that patients on isolation will not be able to receive visitors. This includes all patients who are confirmed as having COVID-19, or who are awaiting COVID-19 test results. All patients admitted to a BHB acute care unit are tested for COVID-19. The results take at least 48 hours, and there will be no visitation during this period.

Requirements of visiting in phase one:

  • Visitors will need to adhere to physical distancing, good hand hygiene and wear masks at all times during their visit (including in private patient rooms). Visiting may be suspended for breaches to social distancing, visiting policy or infection control requirements.
  • Patients must identify visitors as a support person prior to them arriving. Names will be held at the front desks of KEMH and MWI and nurses stations.
  • People who are feeling unwell will not be allowed to visit.
  • For infection control purposes, visitors will not be allowed to use patient bathrooms and will need to use public restrooms on each floor.
  • Overnight stays are not allowed in this phase.

Limited visitation by BHB in acute care areas:

Acute Inpatient Care (KEMH)

  • Designated support people can visit for two hours each day between 12 noon and 6pm.
  • Check into the front desk in the Acute Care Wing lobby for KEMH.
  • In the three Acute Care Ward Units at KEMH where patients are in large private rooms, two visitors can attend at any one time.
  • In Curtis Ward in the General Wing of KEMH, due to space and the use of public and semi-public rooms, one visitor will be allowed at any one time.

Acute Inpatient Care – Adults, and Child & Adolescents (MWI)

  • Designated support people can visit for up to 30 minutes each day between 12 noon and 6pm.
  • Check into the front desk.
  • One visitor will be allowed with visitation occurring in a public space (eg family conference room).

Intensive Care Unit

  • One designated support person per patient allowed to visit for two hours between 10am and noon, or 4pm and 6pm.

Emergency Department

  • Patients should come to emergency on their own, to minimise numbers in the ED waiting room and ensure physical distancing is possible.
  • Exceptions for one visitor will be made in the following circumstances:
    • Vulnerable individuals and children (1 parent/support person)
    • Combative individuals
    • End of life cases
    • Deaths (prior to or within the ED)

Maternity

  • One designated support person may stay up to 8 hours after the birth.
  • If the mother is not discharged within 24 hours, the support person will be allowed to visit up to 2 hours a day between 10am and noon.
  • The support person will need to stay in the mother’s room.

KEMH acute care visiting guidelines available on website (Friday 5 June 2020)

2 June 2020 Home Page, News

Road closure and traffic interruptions on 26 May at KEMH

Sunday 24 May 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public of a temporary road closure scheduled for Tuesday 26 May 2020 on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus. The closure will affect both vehicular and pedestrian through traffic from approximately 6:30pm until midnight.

To facilitate the replacement of some of the beds in the KEMH General Wing and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, a container will travel to the KEMH site, interrupting the flow of traffic along Point Finger Road from approximately 5:30pm to 6:30pm on Tuesday.

The container will be positioned on the KEMH through road between the ambulance bays and the General Wing lobby from 6:30pm, necessitating the closure of that section of the KEMH road until approximately midnight.

During this period, emergency vehicles and people attending the Emergency Department should use the Point Finger Road entrance. Ambulances will enter and exit on Point Finger Road.

KEMH and the visitor parking lots will remain accessible from both Point Finger Road (Acute Care Wing) and Berry Hill Road (General Wing and Agape House). Traffic will not be able to travel between the General Wing lobby roundabout and Point Finger Road.

For your safety and the safety of others, please use caution and adhere to the barriers, signage and directions of the security officers.

Bermuda Hospitals Board apologises to the public for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.

KEMH Road Closure Map – 26May2020

24 May 2020 Home Page, News

A COVID-19 birthday story

Tuesday 19 May 2020: Sixty-eight year old Mark (not his real name), did not have a cold and was not feeling sick but one day he suddenly found it difficult to breathe.

“I was very short of breath. If I took six steps I had to stop to catch my breath,” he says. “My wife wasn’t having me waiting. She said I might be having a heart attack and that I had to go to the hospital.”

Mark was not keen on the idea, but after his wife called the Health Department and they said he needed to get to the Emergency Department right away, he complied.

“I was very weak so they admitted me to the intensive care unit and that’s where I was introduced to the CPAP mask,” he recalls. “It is placed over your nose and mouth and pumps oxygen in at a furious rate. I had never experienced anything like that before. It was scary.

It was so hard for me to breathe. Using the CPAP didn’t hurt me at all. I wasn’t in any pain, but I was scared. If it hadn’t been for the nurses consoling me and calming me down, I may have had to go on a ventilator. And I kept telling them I didn’t want to be on a ventilator,” he says.

Mark says he had not wanted to use the CPAP machine either, but when the ICU doctors and nurses explained that his body was not getting sufficient oxygen, he regarded the CPAP as “the lesser of two evils”.

“Apparently the ventilator is a lot worse,” he says.

So he made an honest effort with the CPAP but doubts he would have made it all the way without the nurses.

“They were wonderful; they were there for me encouraging me every breath of the way. The biggest surprise I had when I was admitted, was to find out that some of the nurses in ICU are praying nurses. They actually prayed with me and over me. That really lifted my spirits and gave me the courage to continue with my CPAP mask. I give all the praise to the nurses there!

While his memory is cloudy, Mark says he had to use the mask for about three days.

“I guess after I came off the CPAP mask everything has been recovery. I haven’t experienced any pain or anything like that.”

However, he was weak and his condition serious enough that he remained in the ICU for 4 weeks. Eager to get better, he says the support and comfort afforded to him by the ICU physicians and nurses renewed his faith and fed his soul.

Elaine Campbell, MD ICU physician

BHB ICU physician Elaine Campbell, MD, was part of Mark’s care team.

On Tuesday 5 May he was discharged from ICU to a general ward. It was a great way to celebrate his 69th birthday and hospital staff were happy too.

“My phone blew up that day with calls from family and friends. I was so glad to be out of ICU and on a general ward that I couldn’t think straight. The hospital kitchen baked me a small cake and the nurses sang happy birthday.”

Although he was happy to move to his new room, he is now looking forward to returning home.

“I thank God for his mercy, his grace and his deliverance from this terrible virus,” he says.

“I feel like I am ready to go home. I don’t feel sick. I don’t think I’m displaying any symptoms or anything like that,” he says. “They want to wean me off the oxygen. I don’t have an expected discharge date yet, but I am talking to you freestyle (i.e. without needing to take a break or use supplemental oxygen), so I am ready to go home.

“If I look out the window, I can see the hill where I stay. I can see the neighbourhood. I am almost home.”

19 May 2020 Home Page, News

BHB road traffic accident statistics from January-April 2020

Friday 15 May 2020: The Bermuda Hospitals Board reports the following road traffic accident statistics for the period 1 January – 30 April 2020:

  • 19 total cases were seen in the Emergency Department of KEMH
  • 3 persons were admitted to to an acute care unit

The full statistics are available in the table above. The low figures are likely due to the shelter in place order for COVID-19, which was in effect at the time.

You can download a pdf of the the table below.

2020 Bermuda Hospitals Board Road Traffic Accident Statistics 1 January – 30 April

2019 Bermuda Hospitals Board Road Traffic Accident Statistics 1 January – 31December

2018 Bermuda Hospitals Board Road Traffic Accident Statistics 1 January – 31December

 

15 May 2020 Home Page, News

Please wear a mask to the hospital

Wednesday 29 April 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is asking members of the public who have a cloth mask, to please wear it if they need to come to the hospital. Most people are doing so and we are grateful. When members of the public wear a cloth mask at the hospital, it helps protect hospital staff.

BHB management and staff are committed to our community and want to make it clear that we will not turn people away who do not have, or have forgotten to wear a mask.

29 April 2020 Home Page, News