Local newborn makes BHB history

Thursday 3 November 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is happy to announce the birth of the first Bermudian since the implementation of its electronic medical record. The Patient Electronic & Administrative Records Log (PEARL) is the name of the system which went live at both the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) over the weekend.

Frances Ivy Edwards was born at 5:35 on Monday morning to parents Thomas and Kaitlin Edwards. Her birth represents the first Bermudian on the island who will never have had a paper BHB medical record. Her entire record will be digital.

“There was hospital-wide excitement at Frances’ birth,” said BHB CEO & President Dr Michael Richmond. “We consider her our PEARL. Her birth is a historic event for BHB and we are pleased her parents have consented to us sharing the news, her name and photos.”

“I had read the article about the hospital moving to electronic record keeping in the media and thought it was a big step and a positive move for the hospital and the island,” said new mother Kaitlin Edwards. “But I never really thought about what it might mean for my child. It is exciting to recognise that she’s the first to have a paperless medical record at the hospital. I was born here, my husband was born here and so was our son, but she’s not just the first in our family to have a digital birth record, she’s the first in the island. It’s a fun fact she can always be proud of.”



3 November 2022 Home Page, News

BHB Primary Stroke Centre celebrates Stroke Awareness Week


Monday 24 October 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) urges the public to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke. Saturday 29 October is World Stroke Day, and this week BHB’s Primary Stroke Centre team wants to increase community awareness of this condition, which is on the rise in Bermuda.

“Every second counts when treating someone who is experiencing a stroke,” said BHB consultant neurologist Dr Kehinde Kolapo. “We really need everyone on the island to recognise when someone is having a stroke, and to get them to the hospital right away.

Signs of Stroke Illustration“BE FAST. These two words can really help everyone remember the symptoms.

“B is for balance. People who become dizzy or lose their sense of balance could be experiencing a stroke.

“E is for eyes. A stroke may cause sudden blurred vision.

“F is for face. If one side of the face starts to droop, it could signify a stroke.

“A is for arms. Sudden weakness in an arm, or a leg, is another symptom of stroke.

“S is for speech. Those experiencing a stroke may have slurred or unintelligible speech, or they may not be able to speak.

“T is for time, which means you need to get the person to the Emergency Department as soon as possible.”

“There are some types of stroke for which we can administer a drug that bursts the blood clot, effectively ending the stroke,” said Dr Kolapo, “but there is a very short window of time in which it is safe to do this.”

BHB’s Primary Stroke Centre attained distinction certification from Accreditation Canada in April for its acute stroke and inpatient rehabilitation service standards. Its committed team of professionals is passionate about not only providing the best care to patients, but also decreasing the number of people who experience strokes.

“We are tackling prevention by educating the public,” said VP KEMH Clinical Operations Sita Ingram, a member of the Primary Stroke Centre Working Group. “BE FAST is the message we need every resident to know and adhere to.

“Free wallet-sized BE FAST cards are available this week at the Bermuda Diabetes Association, and the reception desks at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller said: “We also draw the public’s attention to the full Accreditation Canada report on the Primary Stroke Centre’s distinction certification. It is available on our website at bermudahospitals.bm.”

Click here to access the report.

Accreditation Canada conducted an onsite survey at BHB from 28 February to 3 March 2022, interviewing staff, stroke patients, their families and Primary Stroke Centre partner organisations.

BHB CEO and President Dr Michael Richmond said: “Stroke distinction certification is the highest commendation a stroke centre can receive in the Accreditation Canada system, and this aligns with BHB’s vision to pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.”

The Accreditation Canada Stroke Distinction surveyors highlighted the areas below in their report as examples of successes within BHB Primary Stroke Centre services:

  • leadership and organisation support
  • knowledgeable and committed staff
  • collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI)
  • alignment of the integrated stroke programme plan with the organisation’s strategic plan
  • community partnerships
  • communication and promotion of the stroke programme


Primary Stroke Centre History

Recognising in 2018 that strokes had become an epidemic on the island, BHB took steps to address the problem. In July 2019, BHB launched its Primary Stroke Centre, part of a clinical affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International. Since that time, stroke patient outcomes have significantly improved in Bermuda, due to a more clearly defined process for managing stroke patients, together with a robust national campaign highlighting the signs and symptoms of stroke and the importance of attending the hospital immediately.

At its peak, 14% of those who experienced a stroke were able to receive a clot-busting drug that increased their chances of fully recovering. Not all stroke patients are eligible to receive the drug.

In 2021, then Primary Stroke Centre Director Dr Francene Gayle said: “This figure is impressive and is almost double the 7% average of primary stroke centres in the US.”

BHB’s Primary Stroke Centre also made history with its first trans-oceanic mechanical thrombectomy case. In this instance, a local patient with a major blockage in a major artery of the brain was diagnosed and airlifted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital within 17 hours. The patient received lifesaving thrombectomy surgery and is likely the first in the world to have experienced the trans-oceanic service.

24 October 2022 Home Page, News

BHB COVID-19 Remembrance Tree

Thursday 9 December 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) this season has dedicated its Christmas tree to remember those we have lost to COVID-19.

“The tree has pride of place in the main lobby of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH),” said BHB CEO Michael Richmond. “This year we felt it was fitting for our tree to help heal and comfort our staff who have lost loved ones and patients, and the family and friends of the 106 persons who Bermuda has lost to the disease.”

Interested members of the public can request a pre-cut ornament from BHB and decorate it in memory of a family member or loved one who they lost to the disease. When completed, decorated ornaments should be returned to KEMH to be hung on the COVID-19 Remembrance Tree.

“Many in our community are still grieving the loss of loved ones to this disease,” said BHB Acting Chief of Psychiatry Anna Neilson-Williams. “Taking time to remember the person and simple acts such as  writing a note are mechanisms that can help people heal emotionally.

“Our staff are human and they too have felt the toll of loss some in their families and many as they cared for their patients. Due to necessary visiting restrictions, in several instances they, and not the next of kin, were at the patient bedside until the end. Oftentimes even more difficult for our staff was having to console the next of kin who could not be present. We also recognise the large number of staff from overseas, who have worked tirelessly over the pandemic, many of whom have also suffered losses, and this complex cumulative aspect can take its toll.”

BHB has staff from well over 50 different countries. India is one of those, which was hit particularly hard by the virus. Some of our staff lost family in that wave. The COVID-19 Remembrance Tree is a way they can also find some solace.

The tree will have 106 silver baubles in honour of each life lost to COVID-19 in Bermuda, and 54 gold baubles representing all the countries BHB staff are from. Each gold ornament symbolises the friends and family our staff members lost to COVID-19 in their home countries.

Due to privacy laws and patient confidentiality, next of kin of those who passed due to COVID-19 have not been contacted directly by BHB to submit an ornament. We encourage everyone who learns about the COVID-19 Remembrance Tree to share the news widely.

If you want to collect an ornament, please contact cathy.stovell@bhb.bm for details on when they will be available. Unfortunately, in order to comply with privacy laws, no names or photos will be allowed in the ornament decorations.

9 December 2021 Home Page, News

BHB invites the public to celebrate birthday of 107-year-old resident

Friday 20 November 2020: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) Long Term Care Unit resident Louise Franks will celebrate her 107th birthday on Monday 23 November.

Capri Smith, BHB’s Long Term Care Unit activities supervisor and her team, have created an arch for Ms Franks to mark the occasion. Weather permitting, Ms Franks will sit under her birthday arch and wave to well-wishers as they pass by the Acute Care Wing on Point Finger Road. The drive-by birthday event will take place from 1pm-2pm on Monday 23 November.

“We wanted to make the day special for Ms Franks, and she does enjoy being greeted,” said Ms Smith. “We have consulted with her family who are on board with the plan and who will stop in to see her throughout the day.”

“Ms Franks has been a resident in our Long Term Care Unit for 12 years,” said BHB CEO Michael Richmond. “She has a very pleasant demeanour and is a familiar face to most of our staff at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone age with her on Monday.”

While BHB encourages the public to wave and toot to Ms Franks as they pass on Point Finger Road on Monday, the hospital asks drivers to be mindful not to disrupt the flow of traffic by stopping or moving at an excessively slow speed.

20 November 2020 Home Page, News

BHB Public Advisory on the Flu

21 January 2019: BHB is experiencing a high number of people being admitted with complications from suspected and confirmed flu.

Dr Michael Richmond, Chief of Staff and Acting CEO, comments: “What is most concerning is the speed and virulence of the flu symptoms we are seeing in the hospital.  This has not been a slow and steady increase. We have gone from zero patients with suspected flu complications in the intensive care unit to four confirmed and three suspected cases over just one weekend. Our Emergency Department is seeing an increase in patients coming with serious respiratory complications and in order to protect patients, the community and our staff, we are implementing a flu response action plan that focuses our nursing staff on the response and reduces traffic through the hospital from people who may bring in or take out with them the flu virus.”

  • BHB is postponing non-emergency surgeries as needed, in anticipation of further admissions. Two were postponed today. We will review the status each day to decide on our ability to undertake elective, non-emergency surgeries.  Emergency and critical surgeries (for example, trauma or cancer surgeries) will continue.
  • BHB is requesting a maximum of two visitors per patient per day in all areas of the hospital, including long term care.  The incidence of flu to date has come from the community, and infection has not occurred while patients are in hospital. We need to reduce further exposure of other visitors and patients. Long Term Care unit residents in particular are vulnerable to complications from flu.
  • All visitors will be expected to wear masks in the Intensive Care Unit and use gel dispensers or soap and water to wash hands before and after seeing an individual.
  • Only visit the Emergency Department if you need to. This will reduce the chance of you picking up flu from someone who is in the Emergency Department Waiting Room and relieve pressure in the Emergency Department. For minor illnesses and injuries, see your GP or visit the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St David’s.
  • If you have an outpatient appointment at KEMH but think you are sick with or coming down with flu, call to reschedule. You will avoid infecting other people in hospital, some of whom may be already unwell and vulnerable to flu.
  • Get vaccinated. The vaccine takes two weeks to be effective, but the flu season still has a few months to run. It is the most effective way to reduce your chances of getting the flu.
22 January 2019 Home Page, News