May 12, 2022

Celebrating 25 years in Trauma Operating

In 2013, Calgary Health Foundation funded the second Interventional Trauma Operating Room (iTOR) in the world, right at Foothills Medical Centre. The only other iTOR was located in Sydney, Australia.

However, the innovation of combining diagnostics with advanced technology in one operating suite opened the doors for advanced care in operating techniques for a number of interventions in the years to come.

Watch how lives have been transformed since the iTOR was made available:

A look back to the announcement in March, 2013:

Patients with severe traumatic injuries now have access to faster diagnosis and more comprehensive treatment than ever before thanks to a state-of-the-art hybrid operating suite now open at Foothills Medical Centre. The Interventional Trauma Operating Room (ITOR) is the first operating room in North America and only the second in the world specially designed to control bleeding of patients with severe traumatic injuries.

The 150-square-metre, $6-million suite – funded by the Calgary Health Trust and the Government of Alberta – is more than twice the size of a traditional operating room, and includes its own angiography suite, which allows surgical and diagnostic imaging teams to work on a patient simultaneously.

“This is an excellent investment that makes a direct and immediate improvement for Albertans in trauma care,” says Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “This suite gives severe trauma patients their best chance for survival and recovery. It is an impressive addition to some of the best trauma care in the world.”

Calgary Health Trust Board Chair Ann McCaig concurs.

“ITOR is the perfect example of how health care philanthropy brings world class care to individuals and their families in Calgary and Southern Alberta,” she says, “Working with our donors, the Trust strives to ensure clinicians have access to the cutting edge technology like this suite which ultimately means better outcomes for critically injured patients.”

Typically, when trauma patients arrive at Foothills, they first go to the emergency department so that surgeons can determine whether their best chances of bleeding control are in an operating room or in an angiography suite.

Now patients with severe bleeding can go directly to the ITOR, where the internal bleeding assessment and repair is performed at the same time the surgical or angiographic team begin their work, saving time that could ultimately save lives.

“For patients with severe bleeding, we are now able to offer the absolute highest level of technology, the best care and best chances of survival of anywhere in the world,” says Dr. Andrew W. Kirkpatrick, Medical Director of Trauma Services with AHS. “This space brings multiple teams together to do the right thing for the patient, as fast as possible.”

The suite was outfitted and constructed thanks to $3 million from Calgary Health Trust’s Foothills Hospital Home Lottery program and a generous anonymous donation, as well as $3 million from the Government of Alberta’s McCaig Tower Capital Fund Project.The only other ITOR is located in Sydney, Australia.

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