Vancouver, BC (for immediate release) – The busy Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Vancouver General Hospital has expanded, thanks to the support of Teck, Canada’s largest diversified resource company. The completion of the expansion – celebrated today by staff and patients – will enhance capacity of the ICU and, for the first time at a healthcare facility in Canada, incorporates an innovative new approach to support patient health through installing bacteria-eliminating copper surfaces.
To help address the growing number of patients in need of specialized care, two new beds were added to the unit’s existing footprint, allowing health care teams to treat approximately 180 more patients each year. The expansion also includes a new state-of-the-art private isolation room to treat the sickest of patients.
The ICU at VGH is one of the most highly-charged environments in the hospital. It is the largest in the province and, with Teck’s $2.5 million donation pledged in 2013, now houses 34 beds and supports a number of provincial programs including bone marrow transplant, solid organ transplant, burns and multi-trauma cases.
“In the last couple of years, our ICU has frequently exceeded its bed capacity, affecting our ability to optimally care for critically ill patients. Thanks to Teck’s generous support, we will create additional capacity and equip those beds with the most advanced technology to care for the sickest patients, while supporting patient health by using antimicrobial copper surfaces,” said Dr. George Isac, Medical Director of the ICU at VGH.
A special antimicrobial copper surface was used for horizontal surfaces of the project, including the main desk of nursing station, the desk at the nurse observation area and all counters inside the patient’s room. Copper has been found to kill 99.9% of surface bacteria which can combat healthcare-acquired infections, the fourth leading cause of death in Canada.
“Our employees live and work in communities across BC and are proud to support this important expansion of VGH, which will improve care for people throughout the province,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. “Utilizing copper’s anti-microbial properties to prevent infections is an innovative use of one of BC’s major mining products. We are excited to support this cutting-edge healthcare initiative and to learn more about how copper can be used to improve healthcare outcomes.”
Approximately 1,300 patients are admitted to the ICU every year and 45% of those are from outside the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority region, including the Interior, Northern BC and even outside the country.
“The ICU at VGH treats some of BC’s more complex patients with injuries, conditions and traumas. Teck’s generous donation enabled the expansion of the ICU, increasing the total number of beds, creating a new nursing station to ensure optimal site lines, and building a state-of-the-art patient isolation room to provide life-saving and life-changing care for those in the ICU,” said Barbara Grantham, President and CEO of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
“VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is honoured to partner with Teck. We share Teck’s passion to make a real difference with positive outcomes and impact on the lives of all ICU patients and their families.”
Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, steelmaking coal, zinc and energy. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TCK. Learn more about Teck at www.teck.com or follow @TeckResources.
About VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is Vancouver Coastal Health’s primary philanthropic partner, raising funds for specialized adult health services and research for all British Columbians. We partner with donors to drive innovation and sustainable health care at VGH & UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services.
For more information, please contact:
Tiffany Kraus, Director, Marketing and Communications
778 952 6147
Chris Stannell, Senior Communications Specialist, Teck Resources Limited
604 699 4368