QEH Foundation raises more than $277K for new hospital equipment

It was a record-breaking evening Saturday for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, which held its annual Yuletide Gala in Charlottetown.

The event raised nearly $277,576 toward the purchase of priority equipment for emergency care, dialysis and the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre.

CBC P.E.I.'s Matt Rainnie served as the event's master of ceremonies. He spoke to Dr. Derek Chaudhary, a nephrologist at QEH, on how the event will positively impact some of the hospital's patients.

Nephrology is a specialty of internal medicine that focuses on the treatment of diseases that affect the kidneys.

"Health care is not cheap," Chaudhary said. "The great thing is, in P.E.I., we have the ability to take care of many patients with many different health-care needs. And in order to do that we need to be able to utilize equipment and modalities that help them. And this definitely helps."

Matt Rainnie/CBC

With the funds raised through the event and other efforts made by the foundation, Chaudhary said the hospital will be able to get two new hemodialysis machines. The equipment makes a huge difference in caring for patients with kidney disease, he said.

However, the machines don't come cheap, costing about $44,000 per unit, Chaudhary said.

"Once a patient has end-stage kidney disease and requires hemodialysis, or what we call a RINO replacement therapy, aside from looking into transplant our options are peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis," he said.

There's no doubt that this is definitely important. - Derek Chaudhary

"So when it comes to hemodialysis these machines literally help clean their blood, remove extra fluid and stabilize their their chemistry basically."

The funds couldn't have come at a better time, Chaudhary said. 

"These machines do a much better job than than machines of the past. Each machine can dialyze up to three people per day. And so we have, you know, based on the numbers, four-to-six people that can can reap the benefits of that."

"Over the last several years we've been the fastest growing program in terms of the patient need. There's no doubt that this is definitely important. It's a high-need program," he said. 

In addition to money raised for the hemodialysis machines, the event raised $9,700 toward equipment that will go toward the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre to help care for patients undergoing chemotherapy. 

More P.E.I. news