For Immediate Release – Halifax: Despite improvements in surgical technique, anesthesia and perioperative care, surgery places a high level of stress on the body before, during and after a procedure. On February 1, 2018 the IWK will become the first health centre in the Maritimes to implement Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). The program is designed to help patients prepare for surgery, promote faster recovery and shorten hospital stays. Hospitals where ERAS is used have significantly fewer complications and better patient outcomes and experience.
“ERAS care requires the teamwork of a number of groups of doctors, nurses and health care providers; care that is focused and proven to help patients get ready and recover from surgery,” says Dr. Dolores McKeen, Associate Chief of the Department of Women's & Obstetric Anesthesia and the Associate Director of Women's & Obstetric Research at the IWK Health Centre. “We all have equal and important parts to play helping patients through their perioperative experience, while listening to what patients need and can do themselves, to heal faster."
Drawing from best practices and evidence from around the world, ERAS improves patient care through patient education, nutrition, mobility after surgery, fluid management, anesthesia and pain control. ERAS also makes patients part of the team by asking them to become partners in their care, involving them in preparation for their surgery and post-operative recovery. It helps patients stay strong, improves their outcomes, reduces complication and creates a better patient experience.
The key principles of the ERAS protocol include preoperative counselling and nutrition, the avoidance of fasting, carbohydrate loading up to hours before surgery, standardized anesthetic and analgesic regimens (that emphasizes non-opioid analgesia) and early mobilization of the patient. The program will be applied to a number of surgeries within the women’s program of the health centre including urogynaecology and gynaecology surgeries. Each year, approximately 500 uro-gynaecology surgeries are performed at the IWK.
About the IWK Health Centre
The IWK Health Centre is the Maritime region's leading health care and research centre dedicated to the well-being of women, children, youth and families. In addition to providing highly specialized and complex care, the IWK provides certain primary care services and is a strong advocate for the health of families. The IWK is a global leader in research and knowledge sharing, and a partner in educating the next generation of health professionals. Visit www.iwk.nshealth.ca for more information.
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