New R 1.7 Million Haematology Unit for Tygerberg Hospital
The Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, opened a new R1.7 million haematology unit at Tygerberg Hospital on 19 November 2012.
The haematology unit at Tygerberg Hospital manages patients with a variety of hematological disorders including acute leukemia. One of the shortfalls has been in the management of patients who develop neutropenia (lack of white blood cells), because of disease or as a result of intensive chemotherapy.
These patients are extremely vulnerable to development of life threatening infections and require high care and protective isolation. This unit will provide for the specialized need of these patients.
At any one time the unit cares for between 20-25 in-patients with serious haematological disorders. In 2011 Tygerberg Hospital had 410 new referrals, administered chemotherapy to 1741 patients and attended to 5500 outpatients.
The unit receives patients from a variety of hospitals including Worcester, Paarl and Helderberg. The main drainage areas are the Metro, Boland and the West Coast. We also manage patients with haematological disorders referred from private physicians with medical aids that require them to be managed in a state facility.
It is the second haematology unit in the Western Cape and the sixth unit of its kind in the country. The other Western Cape unit is at Groote Schuur Hospital. Other hospitals in the country with similar units are the Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and the Johannesburg general hospital in Johannesburg, as well as Bloemfontein Hospital.
It is an 8-bed high care unit with en-suite bathrooms and specialized positive-pressure ventilation. There is access control to limit entry into the unit. Strict infection control measures will be implemented to minimize infection risk.
The unit will be staffed by 5 highly skilled and dedicated personnel to ensure the highest level of care.
Minister Botha said: “This unit is a milestone in the care of patients with acute haematological disorders, who until now were managed in the general medical wards, a situation that was contrary to standard guidelines.
“The opening of this unit today is a momentous and indeed historic occasion for haematology research and the treatment of our patients. We are privileged in this province to have the skills and capacity to create this kind of unit, and I want to thank each and every person who played a role to make this dream a reality. It is very important for the Western Cape Government to facilitate opportunities. This new unit is an example of such facilitation.”