Fraser Health introduces first hospital ‘trauma dog’ in B.C.

Therapy dogs can help patients reduce stress and comfort them if they are lonely or depressed

Fraser Health wants to bring some puppy love to Surrey Memorial Hospital.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, Koltan was introduced by Fraser Health during their ‘Puppy Love Day,’ which is a day where the B.C. Pets and Friends volunteer organization brings puppies to the hospital to interact with employees.

Koltan, a three-year-old yellow lab, is the first trauma dog in a B.C. hospital, according to Fraser Health.

As a trauma dog, Koltan provides support to patients in emergency and intensive care units. He also offers support to those who have suffered from relationship violence and sexual abuse.

“Interacting with dogs can improve patient outcomes by creating a therapeutic and healing environment,” said Fraser Health president and CEO, Michael Marchbank.

SEE ALSO: Mac the therapy dog gives comfort to wildfire evacuees

Koltan’s inclusion in treatment plans allows patients suffering from trauma to enjoy some quality time with the young canine. Patients engage in therapeutic contact with him in order to reduce stress.

Studies have shown that therapeutic contact with animals lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, improves cardiovascular health and slows breathing for those who are anxious.

Therapy dogs like Koltan can also comfort people who might be lonely or depressed while in recovery.

“Koltan is extremely empathetic. He loves touch and he loves people,” said Lynn Gifford, clinical coordinator, forensic nursing, and one of Koltan’s caretakers. “I have seen him provide companionship to victims of relationship violence who benefit from this nonjudgmental form of comfort.”

Fraser Health doesn’t want Koltan to be a lone ranger for dog therapy.

That’s why Surrey Memorial Hospital is creating a therapy dog team. The goal is to have a database of different dogs so that patients can connect with the dog that gives them the best physical and emotional comfort.

Fraser Health hopes to have the program operational by spring of 2018.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

 

Just Posted

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

VIDEO: Nurse’s experience treating Rohingya refugees heart-wrenching

Kalisse Barwich spent three weeks working inside 24-bed Rohingya care unit in Bangladesh

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Packed house gives Giants extra boost

Largest crowd at Langley Events Centre since opening night last season

Challenger of Langley City by-election pressed to pay court costs

Councillor Gayle Martin convinces colleagues to send letter to recover expenses

UPDATED: SUV fire at Langley mall (with video)

Firefighters respond to Fraser Highway incident

LIVE: Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

Girl, 15, killed in Burnaby crash

RCMP say female pedestrian was struck on Cariboo Road

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

Pipeline company questioned about Fraser Valley aquifer protection at NEB hearing

‘We want to be sure that this is safe’ lawyer for City of Chilliwack tells Trans Mountain brass

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

B.C. husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

Couple presented with Vital Link Awards for quick use of CPR

154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Government funding to bring subsea fiber optic cable to connect people on the coast

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Most Read