BHB histopathology tests and post-mortem reports

Friday 10 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board today communicated that there has been an increase in the turnaround time of its histology results and post-mortem reports. Other lab tests, such as blood and urine tests, are not impacted and results are being turned around within the usual timeframes.

The increase in turnaround time has been caused by a temporary staffing shortage in the Pathology Department. BHB currently has one consultant histopathologist and one histology technologist. Two additional staff members are going through the final stages of recruitment and BHB is in talks with overseas partners to assist if needed.

The staffing shortage is impacting the results of histology tests, which are the reviews of tissue samples. It is expected that the turnaround time will be reduced by December from three weeks (current turnaround time) to one week.

Post-mortem reports are currently taking some months to complete. There is not a delay in the autopsy itself, just the write up of findings.

Dr Wesley Miller, Chief of Staff, comments: “On behalf of BHB we apologise to patients and families for the current turnaround times for histology tests and post-mortem reports. We understand patients want their histology results as soon as possible and we are focusing on reducing the turnaround time for these tests as a matter of urgency. We also apologise to the families waiting for the post-mortem reports. We understand they also need these important documents. We are working very hard to reduce the turnaround time as well as to complete the recruitment processes for the staff who have been hired.”

10 November 2023 Home Page, News

Blood Donor Centre thanks St George’s Trust Company Limited for generous donation

Thursday 2 November 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today extends its heartfelt gratitude to St. George’s Trust Company for their donation of $10,000 towards purchasing equipment and supporting blood donation for the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre.

BHB Consultant Haematologist Dr Eyitayo Fakunle commented: “We are deeply grateful to St. George’s Trust Company. This generous donation will enable us to enhance our capabilities and increase awareness around the importance of blood donation. This contribution exemplifies the true spirit of giving, helping us to save lives in Bermuda.”

St. George’s Trust Company Executive Vice President Jason Benevides said: “We are honoured to support the Blood Donor Centre. Blood donation is a selfless act that saves lives. We believe in the power of the community coming together to make a difference.  We hope this contribution will help the staff continue its essential work and inspire others to join in this life-saving endeavour.”

Lucy Correia, RN, a phlebotomist in the Blood Donor Centre, said: “I witness the incredible impact of blood donation first hand. The St. George’s Trust Company’s generous donation will allow us to purchase much-needed equipment and create educational initiatives to raise awareness and encourage more people to become blood donors. Together, we save lives and make a significant difference in our community.”

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is located on the first floor of the General Wing at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The Blood Donor Centre is open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 2:30pm, and Friday from 8:30am to 1pm. For information on the eligibility criteria to become a blood donor, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm/be-a-donor/ or call 236-5067 to make an appointment.

Pictured from left: Betsy Blood Drop, Lucy Correia (Phlebotomy Nurse), Jason Benevides (Executive Vice President from St. George’s Trust Company), Dr Eyitayo Fakunle (BHB Consultant Haematologist), Dawnette Been (Senior Technologist for Blood Donor Centre and Transfusion Services), Kathy Stephens (Department of Pathology Manager), and Alma Lou Polinar Swainson (Phlebotomy Nurse)

2 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.

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26 October 2023 Home Page, News

BHB Traffic Advisory: KEMH main entrance closed on Saturday

Wednesday 18 October 2023: King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s main Point Finger Road entrance will close on Saturday 21 October to enable minor excavation works. The Point Finger Road entrance to the hospital’s staff parking area (located near Berry Hill Road) should be used.

Personnel will be at the scene to advise drivers. Please follow their directions.

Weather conditions may see the closure extended to Sunday 22 October.

Below is a map of the traffic plan.

Traffic Plan 21Oct2023

18 October 2023 Home Page, News

BHB turns on pink lights

Friday 29 September 2023: The entrance to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH), Acute Care Wing will be bathed in a pink glow in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness starting tomorrow, 1 October. The exterior lighting will turn on automatically at dusk every evening for the duration of the month.Terricca Smith

“These lights are a reminder to manage your breast care and to book your routine mammogram,” said Terricca Smith, Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) Acting Manager, Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac Diagnostic Unit.

The KEMH mammography department offers full breast health screening and diagnostic exams using GE’s Pristina 3D mammography unit. It provides optimum images to aid in detecting breast diseases.

Women do not require a physician referral to have a mammogram at BHB (men do). “Members of the public 40 and over are advised to have a scan annually,” said Ms Smith. “If you have a family history of breast cancer, we invite you to contact our KEMH Mammography Unit directly on 239- 1223 for advice on when you should be scanned.”

A yearly mammogram is covered as a standard health benefit for those with local health insurance. There is no co-pay at BHB associated with this service.

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29 September 2023 Home Page, News

BHB to host free Falls Prevention Mini Expo

Monday 18 September 2023: Falls can be a serious health risk, particularly for the elderly. On Thursday, Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) will celebrate international Falls Prevention Awareness Week with a mini expo for staff and the public.

BHB addresses falls risk proactively for all our patients, with internationally recognised screening assessments. While we do not have local statistics, the UK’s National Health Service reports that one in three people over 65 falls each year, with half of seniors over 80 falling. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than one in four adults over 65 fall each year, with one in five falls resulting in serious injury.

At Thursday’s Falls Prevention Mini Expo, the BHB Long Term Care unit-based quality and safety teams invite the public to learn about the risks of falling and what they can do to prevent it.

“Falls are a very common cause of injury,” says registered nurse Maxine Simmons. “As clinical manager of Gordon Unit, one of our four long-term care units at BHB, I am aware of the impact a fall can have on our patient’s health and recovery. As our clients are older adults, their risk of falling is greater than the general population.

“Our units have come together this year to raise awareness and encourage the public to protect themselves from falling.”

“The theme for Falls Prevention Awareness Week this year is From Awareness to Action,” says Christine Bogle-Meinzer, clinical manager of Curtis Long Term Care Unit.

“We will be equipping the public with actions they can take to help prevent them from falling.

“We also know that many older people may not tell their doctor or family members when they’ve experienced a fall. We will share why it’s important not to hide these events.”

The Falls Prevention Mini Expo will take place on Thursday 21 September from 2-5:30pm in The Resource Centre on the ground floor of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s General Wing. The event is free to the public and light refreshments will be provided.

“We encourage the public to attend our mini expo, speak with the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, watch the short videos, and take the factsheets to have the information close at hand for easy reference,” said Lynnette Bean, vice president of quality and patient safety. “Falls prevention is an important part of maintaining good health.”

 

Falls Prevention Mini Expo – FLYER SEP2023

18 September 2023 Home Page, News

Public Advisory: Road closure at KEMH on 19 August

Thursday 17 August 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public of a temporary road closure scheduled for Saturday 19 August 2023 on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus. The closure will affect vehicular traffic from approximately 8am to 2pm.

A crane will be positioned on the KEMH through road between the ambulance bays and the General Wing lobby from 8am, necessitating the closure of that section of the KEMH road until approximately 2pm.

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 and signage.

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

KEMH Road Closure Map – 19 August 2023

17 August 2023 Home Page, News

Public Advisory: Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre open over Cup Match

Friday 28 June 2023: The Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will open from 12pm to 8pm on Thursday 3 August and Friday 4 August 2023. It will also be open on its regular weekend hours of 9am to 9pm on Saturday 5 August and Sunday 6 August 2023.

Bermuda Hospitals Board wishes the public a safe and happy Cup Match holiday. We remind you not to drink and drive, and advise you to adhere to the rules of the road.

“In particular, we implore you to observe the speed limit and always wear your seat belt,” said Chief of Emergency Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke.

If you are in the East end and sustain a minor injury, you should attend the UCC. If you have a major injury, a suspected heart attack and/or stroke, you should attend the Emergency Department at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) or call 911.

Clinicians at both the UCC and the KEMH Emergency Department attend to people based on the severity of their condition. The chart below gives some guidance on approximate wait times.

Image of wait times chart based on acuity level.
28 July 2023 Home Page, News

Multiple myeloma support group joins international foundation

Tuesday 25 July 2023: A local support group for people diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, plans to expand its assistance to the community next month.

Pamela Shailer started the Bermuda Multiple Myeloma United Support Group in 2015 after someone newly diagnosed with the illness approached her for advice and support.

Mrs Shailer said the group has agreed to join the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), a US charity. The suggestion came from Dr Alisha Tucker, a Bermuda Hospitals Board locum oncologist/haematologist who specialises in blood cancers. Dr Tucker has experience with the IMF through a support group for patients she was involved with in Jamaica.

Dr Tucker said: “Membership to IMF gives members of the Bermuda patient support group access to the latest research and clinical guidance on managing the illness. They can also attend conferences and seminars, and access a wealth of up-to-date information.”

Mrs Shailer said: “We welcomed the suggestion and agree that this expands the benefit we can provide to not only our current members, but also the general community. We can become more educated survivors and pass that information on to anyone who approaches us about it.

“I was diagnosed in 2013 through a routine blood test in my annual physical with my GP. I had no symptoms. I’ve had a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy, followed by medication. Today am no longer on medication for it. I’ve stressed to my friends the advantage of getting annual physicals, and I feel passionate about sharing information I learn from the IMF.”

BHB Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller said: “Assisting our patients this way is an example of how our care extends beyond the walls of hospital buildings. We have a strong oncology team to meet the needs of our island community. They are highly trained, supportive and sensitive physicians and nurses who are uniquely qualified to manage and treat the varied cancer presentations in our people.”

Information about the Bermuda Multiple Myeloma United Support Group will appear on the IMF website in August. This will make the group easy to find for anyone, anywhere in the world, who may be coming to Bermuda and looking for support.

“Most importantly,” said Dr Tucker, “this will ensure that our patients who are diagnosed with multiple myeloma have access to developments on the disease, and can receive support and empowerment in the community.

“We look forward to assisting them in managing and treating their conditions, and even keeping us on our toes with their latest research knowledge and questions.”

The Bermuda Multiple Myeloma United Support Group meets once a month. For more information, contact Mrs Shailer at bermuda@imfsupport.org or call her on 236-6086.

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Notes to Editors

A local study conducted in 2017 found that 7% of cancers in Bermuda were blood cancers, and of those, 23% were multiple myeloma.

Here’s a link to the published research paper.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda’s second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world’s leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.

25 July 2023 Home Page, News

BHB awards $130,000 in healthcare scholarships to 13 students

Tuesday 18 July 2023: Bermuda Hospitals Board has awarded a total of $130,000 in scholarship funds to support the education and career development of 13 students pursuing healthcare-related fields.

R. Scott Pearman, deputy CEO, commented: “I want to congratulate each of these students on being selected for a BHB scholarship and joining a proud legacy of over 60 years of BHB sponsored healthcare professionals. BHB’s student scholarships help fulfil our people pillar objective of cultivating local talent to provide community care. These scholarships recognise high achieving students with leadership potential and we are proud to support them.

“BHB is committed to supporting education and fostering excellence in education, and these future healthcare professionals will shape the landscape of healthcare and improve the lives of countless individuals. We look forward to seeing these students contribute to the growth and innovation of healthcare services on the island and address the evolving challenges Bermuda faces in the years to come.”

Angela Fraser-Pitcher, vice president of people, stated: “BHB’s scholarship programme was established to recognise and empower students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievements, leadership potential, and a commitment to making a positive impact in the healthcare industry. With funding from Bermuda Hospitals Board and GlaxoSmithKline Insurance Ltd, a Bermuda-based subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline, the programme aims to facilitate the advancement of these talented individuals and contribute to the future of healthcare.”

The BHB Scholarship recipients for 2023 are:

Jordan Bascome has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for up to one year. Jordan is studying for a doctor of medicine degree at the American University of Antigua College of Medicine.

Dymond DeSilva has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for up to one year. Dymond is studying for a doctor of medicine degree at St. George’s School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies.

Shani Tucker has received a BHB Scholarship of $10,000 for up to one year. Shani is studying for a doctor of medicine degree at St. George’s School of Medicine in Grenada.

Addi Teye-Botchway has received a BHB Scholarship of $12,500 for up to one year. Addi is studying for a doctor of medicine degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Addon Teye-Botchway has received a BHB Scholarship of $12,500 for up to one year. Addon is studying for a doctor of medicine degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Ceola Wade has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for up to one year. Ceola is studying for a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree at the University of Exeter.

Ronnelle James has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for up to one year. Ronnelle is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (learning disability) at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Fatima Muhammad has received a BHB Scholarship of $10,000 for up to one year. Fatima is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Watts College of Nursing.

Tiontae Thomas-Clarke has received a BHB Scholarship of $5,000 for up to one year. Tiontae is studying for a doctor of nursing practice degree with a concentration in psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jashae Allen-Lamontagne has received a BHB Scholarship of $5,000 for up to one year. Jashae is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at St. Francis Xavier University.

Keishun Swan has received a BHB Scholarship of $5,000 for up to one year. Keishun is studying for his Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Portsmouth.

Harlee Purvey has received a BHB Scholarship of $10,000 for up to one year. Harlee is studying for a Master of Clinical Science degree in communications sciences and disorders speech language pathology at Western University.

GlaxoSmithKline Scholarship

Kristin Steede has received the GlaxoSmithKline Scholarship of $20,000 for up to one year.  Kristin is studying for a doctor of medicine degree at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Weston, Florida.

18 July 2023 Home Page, News