May 17, 2019 1:25 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 3:54 pm

Kelowna’s cardiac centre treats more than 10,000 patients every year

Kelowna General Hospital is one of only five cardiac centres in B.C., and the only one east of Metro Vancouver. Klaudia Van Emmerik now with the third installment of our series called Heart Matters.


It’s a cardiac program that has seem tremendous growth over the years.

Kelowna General is only one of five hospitals in B.C. with a cardiac centre.

“We’ve become the cardiac science hub for Interior Health,” senior KGH administrator Andrew Hughes said. “We’ll be receiving upwards of 20 patients a day to our admissions for our cardiac services, every single day. If you include people coming into our emergency department or requiring more in-patient care, you are over 10,000 patients a year.”

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READ MORE: Years of growth in cardiac care at Kelowna General

The Interior Health Authority (IHA) covers a vast geographical area, one that stretches from Williams Lake in the north to the U.S. border in the south, and from Hope in the west to Golden in the east, near the Alberta border.

While 60 per cent of the patients are from the Central Okanagan, 40 per cent are from all over the Interior region and beyond. Some patients come from as far away as Northern B.C. and the Yukon.

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“Kelowna General has grown exponentially over the last 10 years, and with that has been additional services, additional resources, such as buildings. But also, too, the demand has gone up dramatically,” Hughes said.

Dr. Guy Fradet is the medical director of the cardiac science program at KGH. He has watched the program grow to include not only a lot more cardiac services, but also become a world-class facility.

“It’s state-of-the-art, modern, single-room patients,” Fradet said. “It’s a beautiful facility. We are very lucky to work here, but for the patient, they wouldn’t get any better anywhere else in the world, not even the Mayo Clinic.”

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Dr. Fradet said the advancements in cardiac care at KGH over the past decade have been saving lives.

“If you go back to 2009, if you came here with a heart attack, the rate of dying was in the double digits. As soon as we implemented the emitted reperfusions with the balloon, it went down to a single digit,” Fradet said.

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The KGH Foundation is currently running a fundraising campaign called “Right Here at KGH” to complete the cardiac program.

It involves a $7 million dollar electrophysiology lab to treat numerous heart arrhythmia conditions.

READ MORE: New, specialized lab at Kelowna hospital will complete cardiac program

The community response has been strong, with almost $5 million raised to date.

“I come from back east. I lived in Europe and I was in Vancouver for 25 years and I am totally blown away by the level of support this community has shown,” Dr. Fradet said. “Very generous and engaged.”

Click here for more information or if you would like to donate to the “Right Here at KGH” campaign.

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