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Donations lead to new equipment at G.R. Baker

Donations made by the hospital auxiliary and Scandinavian Society totalling $150,000 have been used to purchase equipment.
Members of the G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and the Scandinavian Society along with Dr. David Nelson

G. R. Baker hospital now offers orthopedic surgeries.

Donations made by the hospital auxiliary and Scandinavian Society totalling $150,000 have been used to purchase equipment to perform the surgeries.

Dr. David Nelson, who travels from Prince George to perform the surgeries, was overwhelmed by the top-of-the-line equipment donated. New equipment purchased includes four

different complete arthroscopic scope instrumentation sets and sanitization cases.

Nelson is performing orthopedic surgeries at G.R. Baker hospital and said the purchase has helped shorten waiting lists for surgeries.

The surgeries being performed in Quesnel have also helped patients get the care they need in their own community, eliminating the challenge of traveling to Prince George for the procedure.

Nelson added patients are now able to have the surgery close to home and receive quality after-care and attention right here in Quesnel. With the help of the hospital auxiliary’s $100,000 donation and the Scandinavian Society’s $50,000 donation, the hospital was able to make much needed upgrades, which also meant training sessions.

Operating room nurses were invited to an operating room in Vanderhoof to see an operating room of comparable size and see how they kept it organized.

The nurses also took a trip to Prince George to be trained properly in the cleaning and sanitization of these new tools.

Since the equipment is expensive, and very fragile, the cleaning process is very tedious to ensure careful handling.

The different scopes and shuts, which cost $1,500 to $3,000 each and batteries, $900 each, are

being used for various knee surgeries, but not knee replacement surgeries.

“Knee replacements are major surgeries,” Dr. Nelson explained.

“Those kinds of surgeries should be in Prince George, in a bigger hospital.”

Northern Health’s Health Services Administrator in Quesnel, Margaret Sadlon, said the new equipment is a great way to entice some of Nelson’s colleagues to the area.

“We’ve had conversations about some of his coworkers from Prince George possibly coming to do surgeries as well,” she explained.

“They’re all so impressed with this brand new, top of the line equipment. It shows us that if we buy it, they will come.”

The first surgeries using the new equipment were performed June 7 and Nelson hopes to add bigger knee repairs and possible shoulder surgeries as well to the list offered in Quesnel.