by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Grenada Cancer Society donates infusion pump to General Hospital
- New machine can be programmed to deliver controlled volume of medication
- Over last 10 years, cancer is leading cause of mortality in Grenada
The Medical Oncology department at the General Hospital has a new lifesaving infusion pump for the administration of chemotherapy. The Grenada Cancer Society donated the US$3,000 pump. One of the major benefits of having such a piece of equipment is the precision it provides in controlling the volume of medication infused through a vein in a cancer patient’s hand or arm, to circulate through the body system to fight the disease.
Dr Barrymore McBarnette said the previous machine had to be manually checked regularly, but with this new equipment, the administration of cancer treatment can be programmed. “The old machine was all manual and had to be regulated by the nurse or doctor. However, this new machine can be programmed to deliver a certain amount of fluids at a given time so there is an advantage of more precision.”
He said the department needs another infusion pump to extradite treatment for cancer patients. “We had an old machine before which we borrowed, but that machine malfunctioned, and we didn’t have any machines like that for a couple months. So this is a new machine, we have only one so far and we are hoping to get another one.”
Over the last 10 years, cancer has been the leading cause of mortality in Grenada. Dr Barrymore said the emergence of lung cancers and cancer in infants are cause for concern. “We continue to see quite a range of cancers from breast to prostate, but more recently we saw a fair amount of lung cancers. We also see cancers in children, so we think the situation in Grenada is quite serious and the cancer incidents in Grenada we think is probably quite high compared to other countries in the region.”
World Cancer Day will be observed on Monday, 4 February and the Grenada Cancer Society will continue in their efforts to get Grenadians to join the fight against cancer. The society is also working to have the cancer registry operational. “The cancer registry is still in its embryonic stage. We are still struggling to try to get it going. We have some infrastructure in place, but it is not quite complete yet and we still working on that,” said Dr McBarnette.
World Cancer Day 2019 marks the beginning of a 3-year campaign under the theme “I am and I will” which is an empowering call to action urging for personal commitment to the continued fight against cancer.