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Dec 21, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

Firefighters donate $40,000 to Sunnybrook burn unit

North York Mirror

Now that the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is treating 100 additional patients a year, a donation from Toronto firefighters is even more meaningful.

On Wed. Dec. 19, members of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association presented Dr. Marc Jeschke, the centre’s medical director, with a cheque for $40,000.

The funds will be used to buy two new monitoring devices called pulse contour cardiac output machines used in the intensive care unit.

“I would just like to express my deepest gratitude,” Jeschke said, adding centre staff and firefighters share a special bond that includes sharing information to help burn patients.

Firefighters have donated more than $600,000 to Sunnybrook over the last 15 or so years.

The new equipment measures crucial patient information such as heart rate, heart function, blood circulation, metabolism and vascular status through a non-invasive method called thermo dilution by injecting cold saline.

Jeschke compared the machines to equipment used by pilots to gauge upcoming conditions so they know what to prepare for.

“We can fine-tune our treatment nicely and guide our treatment,” he told The Mirror.

“When you go into bad weather, you want to know what’s coming. This (machine) is much more accurate, much more elegant, much more technology-based. It’s a significant improvement for burn patients. It’s tremendous, it’s fantastic.”

The centre now accepts every burn patient in Ontario as well as some from other provinces.

Up to now, some Ontario burn victims were sent to other jurisdictions for treatment.

“We are here to serve the citizens of Ontario,” Jeschke said.

“That is our mission, that’s how we see it.”

The new policy means about 250 burn patients a year are treated at the centre, up about 100 over previous years.

The state-of-the-art centre provides a wide range of services, from admission to follow-up and reconstructive surgery.

Ed Kennedy, president of the firefighters’ association, said firefighters are thrilled to support the centre because they see first-hand the devastating effects of fires.

“Unfortunately, injuries at some of these (fires) Are pretty severe,” he said.

“We help, not only at the scene, but afterwards.”

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