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Heart-health trailblazer

Dr. Thomas Lindsay performing life-saving aneurysm surgery

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Thomas Lindsay, centre, Division Head of Vascular Surgery, performing life-saving aneurysm surgery

How the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Innovation Fund is improving patient outcomes, one project at a time

It’s a busy Tuesday morning at Toronto’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC). A middle-aged male patient is guided slowly into the rounded opening of a CT scanner in the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI), while technicians on the other side of the glass study glowing images of the chest cavity on monitors. Nurses closely monitor the progress of the hospital’s most acutely ill patients in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU), while family members anxiously wait on couches located around the corner to see their loved ones. A group of medical residents and international fellows, along with a staff doctor, cluster in the hallway of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), discussing the care of an elderly patient who had open heart surgery the day before.

In the operating room (OR) down the hall, it’s that critical time after a bypass operation, when surgeons must determine whether or not a patient will require a blood transfusion.

It can be tricky thing to predict. Traditionally, doctors had to make that determination by eyeballing the situation, and if a patient looked “wet” (that is, still bleeding), he or she would be given blood. But today, the OR team is utilizing a leading-edge testing process that is saving blood, saving money and improving patient outcomes. It’s just one of the pioneering innovations that have been generated through the PMCC’s trailblazing Innovation Fund.