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Sixty handcrafted gifts donated to BHB nurses

Thursday 6 May 2021: Sixty Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) nurses will receive a hand-crafted gift bag in memory of Bermudian missionary Freida Nusum, who died of COVID-19 in Panama last April.

Ms Nusum and her husband, Sheridan, were living in Panama as missionaries when the pandemic started last year. Unfortunately, the couple both contracted the virus and were hospitalised in Panama, both in serious condition. Ms Nusum succumbed to the illness. Her husband recovered.

Judith Lawrence was crestfallen at the loss of her sister.

“To help me recover and to honour Freida’s life, I decided to make a donation,” said Ms Lawrence. “Freida was a giving and caring person and so I thought a donation to nurses who have worked so hard during this pandemic would be fitting.”

A sampling of the handcrafted gift bags created by Judith Lawrence in memory of her sister Freida.

“I enjoy crafts and decided to make 60 gift bags. I used materials Freida had collected for me in her travels. Other family donated products to put in the bags – socks, candy, hand sanitiser, cream and tissues,” she continued.

BHB has made the donation a week-long event, holding daily draws to determine the winning nurses.

“We extend our sympathies to Ms Lawrence and her family on the loss of her sister,” said BHB Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson. “Our nurses are touched by this kind gesture. The recent surge of COVID 19 in Bermuda has had a huge impact on our frontline nurses and healthcare workers. Her beautiful gift bags will be appreciated by each of our nurses who receives one. Our nurses tend to the needs of patients at every stage of their existence – from birth through to end of life.”

Ms Richardson continued: “Just being there for patients, their carers and their families in these pressured times is so critical.  We thank Ms Lawrence for her generosity.”

6 May 2021 Home Page, News

BHB will introduce automated breast ultrasound service

Thursday 22 April 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board is upgrading its mammography service with a new 3D unit and possibly the island’s first automated breast ultrasound unit (ABUS).

The Pristina 3D mammography unit and the Ivenia ABUS, both from manufacturer GE, will be installed this month. To make room for the new units, the old 2D mammography machine is being removed.

Mammography and biopsy services have been suspended while the switchover is carried out. Following the installations, staff training on the new equipment will take place.

Benefits of 3D mammography

Research has shown that 3D mammography locates more cancers than its 2D predecessor and also reduces the number of false positives. In 2D mammography, two X-ray images of the breast are used. Three-dimensional (3D) mammography creates a 3D picture of breast tissue using X-ray images of several different angles around the breast.

Benefits of automated breast ultrasound

In mammograms, both the healthy dense breast tissue and cancer appear white. This makes cancer detection more difficult in those with dense breasts. Seventy-one percent of cancers occur in dense breasts, and studies show that over a third of cancers in dense breasts are missed in mammograms.

Cancer detection in dense breast tissue significantly improves with the use of a specially designed ultrasound device – ABUS. The combination imagery of X-rays (from the 3D mammogram) and sound waves (from the ultrasound) produces a much clearer picture of the dense breast tissue. Cancer cells appear black in ultrasound imagery, while the dense breast tissue appears white. This makes it easier for radiologists to detect cancer cells.

“Imaging Services staff are excited about this upgrade and eager to start using the advanced technology,” said Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Manager Renee Butterfield.

“The installations represent significant improvement in service we provide the public,” said Chief of Diagnostic Imaging Daniel Stovell, MD. “The technologies produce clearer images, which have a host of medical benefits, one of the most important of which is that it improves our ability to detect cancer.”

22 April 2021 Home Page, News

Lamb Foggo UCC to temporarily close this weekend

Saturday 17 April 2021:  Bermuda Hospitals Board today advises that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre will not be open for the rest of this weekend. The closure is to enable a deep clean following a COVID-19 case in the facility. We are following all usual procedures for unexpected exposures. We apologise for the short notice. Once the cleaning is complete, the UCC will open again at its normal hours. The cleaning is to ensure the safety of the UCC staff and patients. The Emergency Department remains open for all emergency cases. If someone has COVID-19 or suspects they have symptoms, they should call 239-2009 or 239-1301 before arrival.

17 April 2021 Home Page, News

BHB COVID-19 Response Update – 4 April 2021

Sunday 4 April 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board today urged families to take their loved ones home for discharge today to ensure there is enough space for people who require hospital care, and urged everyone over 16 to get vaccinated in order to protect against serious illness and death, and keep hospitalisations down.

People are also reminded that if they are COVID-19 positive, been asked to quarantine or believe they may have COVID-19 symptoms, they should not just turn up at the Emergency Department, but call 239-2009 or 239-1301 for advice on accessing the hospital safely. Symptoms of COVID19 include but are not limited to:

□ Cough
□ Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
□ Fever of 100.4°F or higher or a sense of having a fever
□ Sore throat
□ Chills
□ New loss of taste or smell
□ Muscle or body aches
□ Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
□ Congestion/runny nose
□ Unusual tiredness
□ Headache

CEO Dr Michael Richmond comments: “We are concerned about the rising numbers of infections in Bermuda, and urge the community to do what they can to protect themselves. Over the holiday weekend we have had a surge of COVID-19 patients needing admission to the hospital and intensive care unit. The latest reported figures highlight how quickly we have risen to 18 patients with COVID-19, four of whom are in the ICU. We are prepared. We have opened up our overflow ICU already, and have opened up additional areas with beds to maximise capacity. We have good supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), medications and oxygen. We are managing right now, but we need the community to play their part in ensuring hospital services can continue to manage and that care for everyone in Bermuda is not compromised.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson comments: “We know some families struggle helping their loved one get home when they are ready for discharge, but we need them to act now. Hospitalisation numbers due to COVID-19 are rising in the wake of a sustained surge of cases in the community. The pattern seen the world over is when community cases rise and stay high, hospitals can become overwhelmed very quickly. We are preparing internally, but we also need families to ensure their loved ones who are in hospital go home as soon as they are medically fit to do so.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller adds: “Vaccination protects against serious illness and death from COVID-19. Data from Government is already showing that over 90% of the people testing positive are not fully vaccinated. None of the people admitted to KEMH are fully vaccinated, highlighting that you are at much higher risk of serious illness if you are not vaccinated. The small 10% of people testing positive who are fully vaccinated are not getting seriously ill and not needing hospital inpatient care. The risks of rising numbers are not just to people sick with COVID, but if too many people get sick and need hospital care, all healthcare services will be impacted and people on island needing surgeries or management of ongoing conditions are going to suffer. It is time to work together to get through this difficult time. There is no excuse for not getting vaccinated, unless advised by your doctor. This is a safe and effective vaccine, properly tested, safely provided, and free for everyone over 16.”

4 April 2021 Home Page, News

BHB update in response to COVID-19 surge

Tuesday 30 March 2021: BHB today provides a further update as it responds to the large surge in COVID-19 cases. Actions undertaken are to limit potential transmission within the BHB environment and protect vulnerable residents and patients, and also to be prepared should hospitalisations rise.

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller comments: “Our initial response has been to reduce footfall and minimise transmission throughout the hospital to protect the most vulnerable people in our care. We are balancing this with the need to maintain medical and psychiatric services. This is why visitation has generally ceased, and outpatients services where possible are moving to remote consultations.

“We are also aware that hospitalisation numbers for people with COVID-19 tend to lag behind the rise in infections by about two weeks, so some of our preparations are ensuring we could manage a surge of people with COVID-19 needing hospital care. We hope that the impressive roll out of vaccines, especially in our older and more vulnerable groups, will protect us from more serious cases, but we still must be ready to care for our community come what may. Thankfully, from our experience last year, we now can triple our critical care capacity and increase acute care beds, and we now have double the oxygen supply we had during the first wave.”

Update on Service Changes:

  • Outpatient and urgent/emergency surgeries will continue, but routine elective surgeries (also called same day admissions as these patients need a hospital bed after surgery) will cease, unless they are becoming urgent. This move is to ensure BHB has enough bed space should hospitalisation numbers due to COVID-19 rise.
  • Imaging Services Department has rescheduled non-urgent outpatient service to focus on emergencies and inpatient needs.
  • The Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre x-ray service will cease for two weeks, but the urgent care clinic service with a doctor and nurse will open usual hours (noon to 8pm weekdays and 9am to 9pm weekends).
  • Outpatient clinics (for example, appointments with specialist physicians and psychiatrists) will convert to teleconsultations where possible. In-person consultations will be provided if needed.
  • Outpatient services that require an in-person appointment may be rescheduled if not urgent. Patients will be contacted directly if they need to be rescheduled, and staff will focus on inpatient and emergency/urgent needs.
  • Lab services will continue as usual, by appointment only.
  • Dialysis appointments will continue as usual.
  • Chemotherapy appointments will continue, although some oncology consultations may be managed remotely.
  • There is no visitation for patients in acute care and long term care units across BHB. Moms may have one designated support person in Maternity, but all other visitation is by exception only. Exceptions include end of life and young children.

Accessing Emergency Medical and Psychiatric Care During the COVID-19 Surge:

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, are on quarantine or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should check the COVID-19 symptom checker at or when first assessing your need for care. Call your GP if you need advice on managing symptoms. If hospital care is needed, you should call the Emergency Department (ED) and not turn up before speaking to a member of the ED, who can advise you how to access the hospital safely. Do not go to the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC). No companions are allowed at either the ED or UCC, unless a parent with a child, or a companion to a vulnerable or combative adult.

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, including thoughts about suicide, can call the 24/7 Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) crisis line at 239-1111. Help is there around the clock. While the weekday walk-in service is temporarily suspended, anyone calling the crisis line will be assessed and advised on accessing MWI safely for an in-person consult if necessary.

Reminder on Requirements for Accessing BHB Facilities

Anyone who does have to access BHB facilities are reminded to use the screens for a temperature and mask check on entry and then go to the reception desk. At all times, wear your mask, maintain physical distancing, and wash your hands regularly and well.

30 March 2021 Home Page, News

BHB ceases visitation in response to COVID-19 surge

Monday 29 March 2021: Due to the large surge of positive COVID-19 cases in the community, BHB will be ceasing all visiting from noon today, Monday 29 March, for acute inpatient units at KEMH and MWI, other than in exceptional circumstances such as end of life or young children. Visiting to long term care units, including group homes, ceased last week.

Maternity will continue to have a support person allowed for moms.

For anyone wanting to reach out to their loved ones in hospital, wifi is free at BHB, so inpatients and residents can use mobile and laptops to stay in touch without incurring costs.

For other areas of the hospital:

·      Outpatient clinics are currently reviewing individual cases and will introduce more telemedicine and focus on urgent cases.  Surgical services are also reviewing lists. Patients will be contacted directly should there be any rescheduling required.

·      Dialysis services will continue as normal. 

·      Imaging Services is temporarily reducing its non-urgent outpatient service, prioritising emergency, urgent and inpatient needs.

·      Emergency Department patients are reminded that companions are not allowed, unless a parent with a child, or carer/companion/relative with a vulnerable or combative adult. 

·      Anyone worried they may have COVID-19 symptoms can refer to the Symptom Checklist (click here), and should call their doctor or the Emergency Department before seeking care in person.

Anyone who does have to access our hospitals are reminded to use the screens for a temperature and mask check, and wear your mask at all times, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands regularly and well. 

29 March 2021 Home Page, News

BHB restricts visitation in response to COVID-19 surge

Wednesday 24 March 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces a return to increased restrictions for visitors of inpatients and long term care residents at KEMH and MWI in response to the surge in the prevalence of a highly infectious strain of COVID-19. Changes will come into effect on Thursday 25 March at noon.

Long term care residents and isolation patients on any ward will no longer receive visitors. Acute and critical care patients can have one designated person who can visit them during their stay. The designated person can visit once a day, for up to two hours between 12 noon and 6pm.

Gosling (children’s ward) will allow limited visits by parents only, and Maternity visiting will stay the same as before, with one designated support person able to attend the birth and visit once a day if the mother stays longer than 24 hours.

While there are no significant changes in the Emergency Department and Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC), people are reminded that people who need emergency care should come into the Emergency Department or UCC on their own. Due to the need for appropriate physical distancing, the waiting room cannot safely accommodate companions, relatives or carers as well as patients. As such, companions, relatives or carers can only be permitted in certain situations, such as one parent with their child (under 18), or a carer or relative with a vulnerable or combative patient. As an indoor space, the risks of transmission rises with the number of people in the waiting room and the time they are waiting.

Free wifi is available at BHB so patients and residents can stay in touch by phone or video. Anyone visiting or attending BHB facilities must first go through a temperature and mask check. They must use the available hand sanitisers, and wear a mask and maintain physical distancing at all times.

CEO & President Michael Richmond, MD, comments: “We are very concerned at the increasing number of infections by a variant of COVID-19 that is more infectious. This poses a grave threat to our vulnerable patients and residents, and our response is a first step based on current data. If prevalence continues to rise, we may be forced to stop all visiting and look at other restrictions. We will be monitoring the test results from Government closely each day, as well as our own numbers. We had nine people visit Emergency between last Friday and Monday who were COVID-19 positive. This is the direct consequence of the number of infections rising in the community. We hope, however, that people in Bermuda will continue to pull together, follow the public health guidance, and get vaccinated as this is our path back to some level of normalcy. We each have the power to stand against COVID-19, save lives and get the country through, and if the prevalence reduces again we will once more relax visitation.”

Visitation guidelines from Thursday 25 March by area:

• Acute care inpatient units and Intensive Care Unit (KEMH)
(Ace Barber, Ascendant Partner Re, Catlin Lindo, Curtis, Agape and ICU)
One designated support person identified by each patient may visit once a day for up to two hours between 12 noon and 6pm.

• Gosling Ward
Only parents can visit.

• Isolation patients on any ward (MWI and KEMH)
(Isolation patients either have a confirmed infectious disease, such as COVID-19, or are waiting for the results. All patients admitted are tested for COVID-19 and are on isolation until they receive a negative result)
No visitors, other than in truly exceptional circumstances (such as end of life). Individuals must be approved by the unit manager before visiting.

• Long term care residents (MWI and KEMH)
(KEMH: Cooper, Gordon and Perry Units; MWI: Devon Lodge, Reid Ward and all group homes)
No visitation allowed, other than in exceptional circumstances (such as end of life).

• Agape House
No visitors for long stay patients at Agape House. Patients in their last phase of dying will be allowed two visitors in the room at a time who will be required to wear full personal protective equipment.

• Maternity
One designated support person can attend the birth and up to eight hours afterwards. If mom stays on the ward longer than 24 hours, the support person can visit for up to four hours once a day.

24 March 2021 Home Page, News

College students tour BHB solar panel installation

Friday 12 March 2021: Six Bermuda College students enrolled in the Applied Science and Technology programme toured the solar thermal panel installation at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in February. Accompanied by their technical sciences lecturer, engineer Joseph Weeks, the students, all male, were shown the control room and the solar thermal panels on the roof of the Acute Care Wing. The tour was led by the Acute Care Wing facility manager, who provided detailed information on how the system works and how the panels are secured.

“The tour provided the students with a first-hand look at the practical application of what they learn in the classroom,” said Mr Weeks. “It’s important for their development to be able to perform in the real world. I thank Bermuda Hospitals Board for accommodating us particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”


12 March 2021 Home Page, News

Caring for the Caregiver donates to BHB nursing staff

Tuesday 9 March 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) nurses and nursing aides on the Ace Barber Unit received gift boxes from two local students this month.

Alaiyah Hayward from Bermuda College and Jezhari Talbot from Berkeley Institute made the donation from their newly formed charity – Caring for the Caregivers (CFTC).

“CFTC’s purpose is to support our essential workers while also contributing to our local economy, by creating self-care baskets for workers with items sourced from local businesses,” the duo said in an email to BHB.

The email continued: “We have chosen to donate boxes to essential workers at your place of employment. We are looking forward to your reply to this email so we can organize how we can distribute them. We are truly thankful for what you have done for our country!”

When contacted, Ms Hayward and Ms Talbot said they wanted the gifts to be given to nurses on the Ace Barber Unit as this is the ward where the majority of patients who test positive for COVID-19 are admitted, unless they require ICU treatment.

On Monday 1 March, Ms Hayward presented 15 boxes at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to BHB Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson, Clinical Director Medical/Surgical Services Karen Raynor and Ace Barber Clinical Resource Nurse Dunae Richards.

“This is such a thoughtful gesture from Ms Hayward and Ms Talbot,” said Ms Richardson. “We truly appreciate the gifts and I’m sure our nurses will love them. They are beautifully packaged, demonstrating the care their charity is all about.”

“The nurses and nursing aides were excited with their gifts,” said Ms Richards. “They were unexpected and welcomed. It completely brightened the day of the 15 recipients.”

Each box contained a mixture of items sourced from local vendors, including Coco Aroma, MarketPlace, Royalty Rootz, Esso, Quench Bermuda, Salt+Cedar, Naked Zero, Ahmani’s Cookie Company and ESC Limited.

The gift boxes were made possible through donations from Chubb and Validus Re.

Pictured Above: Judy Richardson, Chief of Nursing; nurse Carolann Tacklyn; Karen Raynor, Clinical Director Medical and Surgical Services; Alaiyah Hayward, Caring For the Caregiver; Dunae Richards, Clinical Resource Manager, Ace Barber; and nursing assistant Elizabeth Dore


9 March 2021 Home Page, News