Al Berg (left) and  John Miller

Al Berg (left) and John Miller

Legion helps hospital

Surgeons and medical staff at Vernon Jubilee Hospital will soon have a new piece of equipment

Surgeons and medical staff at Vernon Jubilee Hospital will soon have a new piece of equipment to assist with abdominal surgeries thanks to $11,000 from Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion.

Referred to as a surgeon’s third arm, the stainless steel Bookwalter Retractor consists of 18 components with varying blade sizes to accommodate the size of organs or tissue to be pushed aside.

“We are excited about this piece of equipment as one of our current retractors is being retired and urgently requires replacement,” said Assunta Shepherd, health services director at VJH.

“VJH currently has three retractors in use and are used two to three times per week. Life expectancy is about 10 years for the Bookwalter.”

A stainless steel ring holds open the incision to expose the part of the body being operated on, giving better access and a clearer visual field.

Funds for the $11,000 piece of equipment were raised through the Vernon legion’s Poppy Campaign, which provides funding for veteran-related causes including special medical equipment, social and health-related services for veterans and seniors, low-rental housing, geriatric research, and bursaries for under-privileged youth.

“We wanted to give where there was the most need,” said John Miller, legion president.

The donation was facilitated by VJH Foundation, which allocates a portion of its fundraising budget to equipment.

The legion’s annual Poppy Campaign runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11.