(Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday 20th June, 2018): Two registered nurses at Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital are now trained in a highly technical competency required to care for patients diagnosed with Hemophilia, a genetic disorder caused by a missing or defective protein needed for normal clotting in the blood, which result in hemorrhages. Nurse Carl Lewis and Kurien Jolly recently received a certification in Port-a-Cath Medication Administration following an intensive two-week observership at Sick Kids Hospital, a major pediatric and teaching facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Hemophilia is passed down from parents to children at the time of conception. About 1/3 of cases are caused by a spontaneous mutation, a change in a gene. Treatment methods for patients with Hemophilia include prophylactic or immune tolerance regimens that require frequent injections of a clotting factor concentrate to prevent anticipated bleeding. Central venous access devices such as a Port-a-Cath is implanted under the skin and runs to a large vein near the heart through which factors are injected using a special needle.
InterHealth Canada, the private health care management company, funded the overseas training after a pediatric patient was diagnosed with the serious condition. The management of implanted ports is common in many of the care regimens provided at Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital. However, pediatric cases are rare and require a distinctive approach to care and consistent application of skills in the practice environment.
The visiting nurses shadowed other Canada-based health care teams who cared for and managed the ports of nearly 10-15 pediatric patients per day. The nurses were trained on the principals of care, preparation, access and management of these sensitive special intravenous lines. Sick Kids Hospital has been managing the sole local pediatric case via the National Health Insurance Board – Treatment Abroad Program. As a result, the nurses were also concentrated on this particular case, with a purpose to return and provide the same competency in country.
The formation of a special medical care team at Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital to manage the Hemophilia case would include the patient’s mother, who as a parent, was heralded as being impressively well-versed and equally trained in the management of her child’s Port-a-Cath. Sick Kids Hospital encourage parents and relatives to form part of their loved ones care routine to stimulate home-based medical care.
Commenting on the competency development opportunity, Chief of Clinical Services at Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Mikette Been said: “We are proud to have our nurses undergo such a rigorous, hands-on training in this specialist program. I would like to express appreciation to the National Health Insurance Board for their collaboration in this initiative, and Sick Kids Hospital for accommodating our staff.”