rectal cancer, went with White on muchof his provincewide road trip.
Laxdal’s insights went beyondthe work of doctors and nurses. AtEdmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital,Laxdal was particularly struck by theoperating room attendants. “Alex”crews can prep an operating room in10 minutes; most other hospitals taketwice as long. Laxdal likens the workersto a car race pit crew. “As soon as thepatient is sewn up, they are in that roomcleaning and preparing for the nextLaxdal is also a part of the ERAS—Enhanced Recovery After Surgery––project, which gets surgical patientshome more quickly. “I was told I wouldbe in the hospital up to 21 days, andheck, I was out in six days. I would haveERAS is a massive shift in surgicalthinking, White says. “I do a lot of surgeryon the bowel and the colon. Classically,you would operate, and the patientwouldn’t be given anything by mouth forseveral days afterward.” This approach,while understandably cautious, translatesinto long hospital stays.
“What happens if we were to feed
people after the surgery? Would that be
okay? What happens if we get them up
and walking after surgery, or give them
some laxatives and make them move a
bit?” Thanks to ERAS, the Surgery SCN
In turn, ERAS has freed up critical
resources, White says. “If you’re not in
that bed in the hospital anymore, we can
bring somebody else in to have surgery.”
Like White, Laxdal is thrilled to be
at the forefront of change in Alberta
healthcare. “We all want the same thing.
We all want better health outcomes for
“Someday, we all will be patients.”|aWe all want the samething. We all wantbetter health outcomesfor Albertans