Jamaica by Bike Committee Member Martin Fong Kong (right) presents a cheque to Dr. Rory Dixon, Senior Medical Officer, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre. Sharing in the occasion are Sister Adrienne Anderson and Nurse Althea Lafayette of the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre; Senator Mark Golding, Chairman of the Mona Rehabilitation Foundation, the charitable organization which provides financial, technical and other support and resources for the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre; Tricia Romeo, General Mills Brand Manager, Wisynco Group; and Adam Harris, Brand Manager, VW. The cheque will go towards purchasing essential medical equipment for the Rehabilitation Centre.

Dr. Hyacinth Harding-Goldson, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care at the University Hospital of the West Indies (2nd left) smiles proudly as she receives a cheque from Sean Henry, Jamaica by Bike Committee Member. Others joining in the occasion are Dr. Richard Augier; Consultant Anaesthetist, Senator Mark Golding, Chairman of the Mona Rehabilitation Foundation; Tricia Romeo, General Mills Brand Manager, Wisynco Group, and VW Brand Manager Adam Harris.


Intensive Care Unit University Hospital of the West Indies

The University of the West Indies has two Intensive Care Units (ICU), with a total of 16 beds, and accepts referrals from the entire island of Jamaica as well as the wider Caribbean region.

The unit accepts patients from all medical and surgical specialties, as well as paediatric patients. The ICU facilitates cardiothoracic and neurosurgical procedures, which would not be possible without the intensive postoperative monitoring provided. It also sees a large number of trauma patients, due to both road traffic accidents and criminal activity. It offers invasive monitoring and advanced life support, which cannot be offered on the general wards. There is usually a one to one nurse to patient ratio and nurses receive postgraduate training in critical care.

The first Intensive Care Unit was opened in 1974 under the supervision of Professor John Homi, who was then the Head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. This unit contains 8 patient areas, a central nursing station, a laboratory for processing arterial blood gases, and staff areas. A new Intensive Care Unit was built in 2005 as a joint project of the Tony Thwaites Private Wing and the University Hospital, with the aim of facilitating more cardiothoracic and neurosurgical procedures. Eight more ICU spaces were therefore provided. Intensive care requires specialized equipment, monitoring, medications and highly trained medical and nursing staff to provide top quality care to critically ill patients.

The Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre

The Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre (formerly known as the Mona Rehabilitation Centre) was founded in the early "sixties" by the then Dr. John Golding. The centre served as a rehabilitation unit for the many victims of Polio which was prevalent at that time. With the eradication of polio, the centre now serves as a rehabilitation unit for patients who suffer spinal cord injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents or other trauma.

Stroke victims are also treated at the centre. These patients undergo physical and vocational rehabilitation and are made as independent as possible to be able to reintegrate in the society.

There is a children's wing which houses about 30 children with mainly cerebral palsy, and they are integrated into schools and their physical deformities improved with the help of surgery where possible. The centre is the only one of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean and it under the government of Jamaica.

The existing physical structure has been in existence since the beginning of the centre and no expansion has taken place in over forty years to cope with the expanding Jamaican population. More patients are being seen (from all parishes) as the number of motor vehicle accidents and inter personal trauma increases.

Hurricane Ivan also did significant damage to the centre destroying the outpatient physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments; the roof of the main building was affected and leaks significantly every time it rains. The result is that patients have to wait a significant time (up to two months) for admission and there has been no outpatient care for more than a year now as the departments are still in disrepair.

Dr. Rory Dixon, orthopaedic surgeon and avid amateur cyclist, commenced working at the centre in June 2005 as the senior medical officer. He saw the need to expand the capacity of the centre to accommodate more in-patients as well as the urgent need to repair the out-patient departments and the main ward.