Pictured in the photo (from left) Don Sinnema – RCL Comox Branch -Treasurer, Craig Dickson – St. Joseph’s General Hospital Chief Cardio Respiratory Therapy, Stu McKinnon – Poppy Committee, Gord Grierson,- – Poppy Chairman, Lynn Dashkewytch – Executive Director St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, Gerry Maillett – RCL Comox Branch – President

Many people may not know what a “Holter Monitor” is but this important piece of medical equipment could save your life one day. The monitor looks like nothing more than a complicated stopwatch, but for Valley residents with undiagnosed heart problems Holter Monitors provide life saving clues into the operation of their most vital organ. The Members of The Comox Legion understand the aging demographic in the Comox Valley and the increasing need in the laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital. In response to this need they have purchased 2 Holter Monitors to help reduce wait times for patients at St. Joseph’s.

The monitor can track the rhythms of the heart over 24 hours, much longer than the standard ECG testing at Hospitals. Holter Monitor’s track the heart’s electrical system for abnormalities, and can detect life threatening arrhythmia or heart beat irregularities that demonstrate signs of previous heart malfunctions. The monitor can be the first step in diagnosing the need for a pacemaker or drug therapy to reduce the risk of strokes.

The lab has had Holter monitors in place for over 20 years, but have only started scanning their charts here in the last 4-5 years. In-house scanning speeds up the diagnosis time, and stops charts from being sent to Victoria, Nanaimo or even Campbell River to be read.

Cardiology technologists see over 40 patients a week and the addition of two more Monitors will help to address patient needs that accompanies the growing influx of seniors moving into our community.

The Hospital Foundation raises money for equipment and renovations that are not funded through Vancouver Island Health Authority. If you or your organization would like to make a donation please contact the Lynn at the Foundation office at (250) 331-5957.