Originally written by TIANA RAY
PORTLAND District Health has this week welcomed a new sonographer to the medical imaging team and unveiled two state-of-the-art pieces of imaging equipment worth about half a million dollars.
The equipment upgrade was able to go ahead after a bequest to PDH by the late Glenys Simmons.“I take this opportunity to pay special thanks to the estate of the late Glenys Simmons. The great generosity of Mrs Simmons has provided much needed funds for the purchase of clinical equipment,” PDH acting board president Bill Collett said at the unveiling to staff on Wednesday evening.The PDH board of management approved the upgrade in July for the department, with the purchase of a new 16-slice Philips computerised tomography (CT) machine and a colour Doppler ultrasound machine.The CT machine will deliver a very fast 20 frames per second reconstruction time, with scans only taking minutes to perform.This will enable routine and advanced studies of the head, neck, chest and abdomen, including blood vessel studies and peripheral vessel studies.“Once scanning is completed, data from the scan may be used to create reconstructions, if required. For example, the blood vessels may be reconstructed with the bone and soft tissues removed from the images,” radiology manager Robin Parry said in August.The ultrasound machine is top of the range and capable of performing all ultrasound examinations expected of any major metropolitan hospital or practise.The machine comes equipped with a high-resolution colour monitor, and fine detail probes, which are capable of detecting small splinters and foreign bodies, as well as small tears in tendons.“Our new ultrasound machine is very highly regarded amongst operators and is capable of performing complex studies with image quality second to none. Clients do not need to travel out of Portland in order to have quality ultrasound examinations and procedures,” Mr Collet said.Also joining the medical imaging department this week is sonographer Susan Jacobs, who will be operating the second ultrasound machine at the department.Ms Jacobs, who was a qualified medical practitioner in India, has a graduate diploma in ultrasound imaging. She will be working full time at PDH.Ms Parry said CT imaging was up 22 per cent in the past month since the machine had been installed.She added the quality of the machines were second to none and equal to any equipment available at any metro hospital. Ms Parry said that would be able to do the majority of imaging requirements at PDH, meaning people won’t have to travel to other centres.“This enables us to provide a competitive and accommodating diagnostic imaging service locally, to the people of Portland and District,” Mr Collet said.