A portable ultrasound machine is now in use at the Kitimat General Hospital emergency room.
That and a laryngoscope were the two major purchases the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation made official at a donors luncheon on July 3.
The purchase of the ultrasound machine is the Foundation’s first major purchase for the hospital. The group began with a donation towards the renovation of the emergency room, before fundraising to make this latest purchase.
The laryngoscope was purchased with a $3,000 donation from the Haisla Nation Council.
“I’ve heard a number of people who’ve expressed that they feel its Northern Health’s responsibility to purchase equipment,” said KGHF Chair Corinne Scott addressing donors who had gathered. “That used to be the case a number of years ago, but we are all aware of the provincial government’s cutbacks, not only to health care but other areas of their operations, and as a result Northern Health’s budget has been drastically cut.”
To date the Foundation has raised over $108,000.
Health Services Administrator for the hospital Jonathan Cooper said the device is not limited to ultrasound technicians but can be used by physicians as well.
He also emphasized that when the hospital puts its priorities for equipment it would like, including the portable ultrasound, it comes from front-line staff who make those recommendations.
So the ultrasound machine fills a real need that staff has identified, he said.
The bottom line is that the machine will speed up care.
“One of the examples is if we had a trauma and we suspected some abdominal injuries we could use this to establish if there’s any obvious bleeding in the belly, for example,” said Cooper.
He said one portable ultrasound is enough for a hospital this size.