Better Research, Better Health
TB Vets is dedicated to funding Canadian research and programs that will help improve the quality of life of individuals with respiratory challenges.
Whatever else may be wrong, overall health is affected (and survival is in question) when a patient can’t breathe. Innovative respiratory research helps improve public health in the long term and advancements made can positively impact societies in a global scale.
Post-COVID Patient Research and Clinic
Little is still known about the lingering problems experienced by COVID-19 survivors and the appropriate care they will need. The Post-COVID Research Program will help address two key questions:
- What lung problems continue to challenge survivors of COVID-19?, and
- What tests are needed to meet the challenges to lung health and quality of life?
As a new disease, it is crucial to develop a registry (a ‘home’ where all medical information is collected and analyzed), alongside a Post-COVID clinic.
Set to run for two years, this study uses a modern method that encourages involvement and open dialogue between patients and medical professionals.
This work is important to British Columbians because it is vital in identifying and addressing meaningful research questions that will help patients get the (tailored) care they need.
In the ICU, mechanical ventilation is relied upon to keep patients alive. It is complex and extremely costly. The longer a patient is on mechanical ventilation, the more the diaphragm (the primary muscle involved in breathing) weakens. The more the muscle weakens, the less likely it is that the patient will ever be able to breathe on their own again.
ICU patients on ventilation will have improved chances if they can be weaned faster, decreasing the risk of ventilator-induced lung injury and other life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and infection.
Dr. Steve Reynolds, Site Medical Director at Royal Columbian Hospital / Simon Fraser University (RCH/SFU) leads the research on this current health situation.
Dr. Reynolds also works with a team to advance the Lungpace Diaphragm System, a medical device designed to activate and exercise the diaphragm by using a temporary, minimally invasive, transvascular nerve stimulation catheter. The technology is expected to save many lives and greatly reduce hospital care costs.
In 1882, the cause of tuberculosis (TB) was discovered. Fast forward to 2022, the disease remains a respiratory health crisis. On average, TB kills more than 1.5 million people worldwide each year, even though it is preventable and curable.
TB Vets supports the TB Research Program led by Dr. Yossef Av-Gay at Vancouver General Hospital / University of British Columbia (VGH/UBC).
“TB Vets’ support enables me and my team to better understand how TB behaves, how some drugs affect the way it spreads and develop new drugs with exciting potential. TB Vets’ support ensures that one day TB will be eradicated,” explains Dr. Av-Gay.
The program is considered to be one of the leading TB research laboratories in the world.
TB Recreation Therapy
Along with TB research, TB Vets has funding in place for the Recreation Therapy of isolated TB patients in Vancouver General Hospital. It is the only program of its kind in Canada.
Being treated for TB is often a long and lonely experience. Imagine 6 to 24 months of staying indoors, away from family and friends. Without a source of personal enjoyment and relaxation, the experience would take a toll on the mental and emotional health of a person.
TB Vets donors help support patient comforts as well as the funding of a dedicated Recreation Therapist (a role currently held by Ms. Courtney Knight), who helps assess patients and carries out tailored plans that benefit their cognitive, social and emotional well-being.