Christmas comes early to Yarmouth hospital

Belle Hatfield
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Ceremonies planned for January to celebrate new CT scanner

Christmas has come early for the diagnostic imaging department at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital, and all the patients who rely on the services it provides.


The Yarmouth Regional Hospital.  BELLE HATFIELD PHOTO

The Yarmouth Hospital Foundation has agreed to fund South West Health’s portion of the cost of a new $1.4 million CT scanner, about 25 per cent of the total.

“To meet its commitment, the foundation will make the CT scanner its primary fundraising focus for 2014,” foundation managing director Paulette-Sweeney Goodwin said.

The province approved $1 million in funding for the purchase of the critical piece of diagnostic equipment in June. The new, state-of-the-art CT scanner was delivered to the hospital in the fall and, after extensive training on the new systems, the scanner is now in operation and providing the specialized diagnostic imaging services physicians throughout the region depend upon to diagnose and treat their patients.

“Staff are thrilled with the enhanced speed and accuracy of the new equipment,” David King, director of Clinical Service, Diagnostics, told the Vanguard last week.

He said the new equipment is providing the high quality images that are so critical in support of the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Dr. Joel Surette, chief of radiology, said in June that the new unit was also an effective recruitment tool.

"Having the latest diagnostic technology available is also an attractive incentive when recruiting physicians and other health-care professionals," he said.

The CT scanner is the hospital's primary imaging tool for cancer, stroke and trauma patients. The emergency department relies on it. The current scanner is more than 10 years old. Because technology advances so quickly, that the old unit was considered outdated.

In 2012 health-care staff at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital used the CT scanner on more than 7,500 patients.

The hospital serves about 60,000 people in Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne counties.

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