Princeton Lions Club learned more about a new emergency response team that can travel from Penticton to Princeton to escort patients back to Penticton Hospital.
Usually a doctor and nurse need to accompany a patient in an ambulance, leaving the hospital without sufficient coverage.
HART (the high-acuity response team), a team of critical care nurses who are used to handling emergency situations, allow doctors and nurses to remain in the hospital.
“Is [the HART team] a cure for the entire problem? No, but it is a step in the right direction,” said Janice Perrino, South Okanagan-Similkameen Medical Foundation director, while referring to the scheduled emergency department closures at Princeton Hospital beginning May 1.
The HART team can respond to emergency situations 24-hours a day, such as car accidents or to drive patients from Princeton Hospital who need to go to Penticton.
The team has more equipment than a regular ambulance to begin treating injured or sick people as soon as the team arrives. Two heart monitors, a transport ventilator to help people breathe again and an airway scope are onboard.
Perrino said each emergency situation will be assessed to see whether the HART team is needed.
The team is also available for other small communities, such as Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos and Summerland.
See a previous Spotlight article for more information about the emergency response team.