Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Joan Duncan Foundation donates A/C unit to UHWI

Published:Friday | August 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Kim Mair

The Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Joan Duncan Foundation recently outfitted the intravenous (IV) fluid room in the pharmacy department of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) with a new 60,000 BTU air conditioning unit valued at more than $500,000, to assist the facility to better store vital IV fluid, also commonly referred to as drip.

Director of pharmacy at UHWI, Dr Arlene Thorbourne, said that the installation of the air conditioning unit will improve the storage condition and preserve the integrity of the IV fluid, which is a critical part of daily patient care, especially at UHWI.

As a Type A hospital, UHWI is responsible for both secondary and tertiary patient care and is the final referral point of service for other health care facilities. The hospital also functions as a teaching and research hospital for medical sciences students and other health care professionals.

Intravenous fluid is a routine part of the treatment regime with patients needing fluid administration (for correcting dehydration), to correct electrolyte imbalances, to deliver IV medications and for blood transfusions.

"Jamaica often experiences normal temperatures averaging over 28 degrees Celsius, especially during the summer months, however, IV fluids require storage below 25 degrees Celsius, hence the need for air-conditioned storage," Thorbourne said.

On a monthly basis, over 12,000 bags (of 500 millilitres) of normal saline, the most frequently used IV fluid, is administered by UHWI.

"The donation of the new a/c unit by the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation is welcome as prior to this donation, the UHWI was challenged with unpredictable storage temperatures for its IV fluids. The improved condition created by the donation will now allow the hospital to maintain IV fluids at the controlled temperature," Thorbourne said.

In keeping with the Foundation's mandate to positively impact change in Jamaica, it provides support to institutional capacity strengthening, educational initiatives, entrepreneurship, transformation, and youth development.

"The Foundation was delighted to respond to the need of the hospital in this way as we believe that such a partnership is a part of our corporate social responsibility to assist in improving the quality of the life, by supporting the health care provided to all Jamaicans," said Kim Mair, CEO at the JMMB Foundation.