Sawyer Douglas Paul Kemp, born May 10, 2018, is the second child for mother Jessika Ilett and father Shawn Kemp born in the maternity ward at West Coast General Hospital. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

More room for babies coming at Port Alberni hospital

Island Health spending $650,000 on new labour and delivery room, pharmacy improvements

West Coast General Hospital will undertake two renovation projects in June that will expand or improve service in the maternity ward and the hospital pharmacy. The projects combined will cost an estimated $650,000.

The main project is completion of a two-patient room in the Labour, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) unit, or maternity ward, which will increase space dedicated to caring for mothers and infants.

“We’re very pleased to move forward with these renovations,” said WCGH site director Pam Rardon.

“There’s been an unfinished space there since the hospital was built that we’ve used mostly for storage. It will be a great space for when we’re at capacity for maternity patients,” she said. “Then you don’t have to move them to another unit, you keep them on the same unit.”

The new space once complete will be able to accommodate surgical patients, including those in hospital for gynecological or breast surgery, she added.

The maternity ward presently has four LDRP rooms, all single rooms. “This one will be used as an overflow area,” Rardon said.

“The way babies come, they’re often in bunches. There’s lots of times we’re not at capacity and then there are times, whatever happens, and we’ll have a bunch of babies.”

The second part of the investment will go toward renovating in the hospital’s pharmacy, where flooring will be replaced and the sterile preparation room renovated. This will assure that patients’ drugs are prepared “to the highest standard,” according to Island Health.

The renovations are expected to take four months to complete, wrapping up in the fall of 2018.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

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