Letter of the Day
Editor: This article is written in support of the return of vascular surgeons to the Province of Prince Edward Island.
Our family has been involved with this service since 1999; therefore, we have experienced firsthand the importance of having timely (sometimes immediate) access to a vascular surgeon.
The most recent experience was during 2012, when after three trips to Halifax, my husband had an amputation of his lower right leg. There is a strong possibility this might never have taken place if access to this service was offered on P.E.I. There are no words that we can truly describe to you of the physical suffering (vascular pain is among the most severe of all pain that a human can experience), and the emotional journey for both the patient and the family during a vascular episode.
Each time we went to Halifax, we once again had to review with a new staff person the medical path we had been on. We might add that the staff there were wonderful but were notably taxed by the extra referrals coming from P.E.I. along with their already challenging workload.
We appreciate the reality of the demands on our present health system but when you save someone's limb, you give them back their life and additionally, save many dollars in the budgets of the rehab services and numerous other programs associated with amputees.
I urge the decision-makers of this process to take the time to consult with the individuals who are most affected by your outcomes; namely, the patients, nursing staff (both from Home Care services and in-hospital staff) who bathe the wounds and try their best to give pain relief, the wound care specialists, rehab staff, vascular lab staff and many others who walk this journey with the patient.
Finally and certainly critical in this process, would be consultation with the amazing surgeons we have had from P.E.I. (Dr. Kenneth Grant and Dr. Peter Midgley), who have made such a difference in the lives of many Islanders.
We look forward to the return of vascular surgeons on P.E.I.