If you’re like thousands of patients, chances are your journey at Saskatoon City Hospital began with a medical imaging procedure. Medical imaging – such as x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasound – has played an important and crucial role in diagnosis for decades. As technology changes, so has medical imaging – results are sharper and processing is faster, leading to clearer decisions for more effective treatments.
You can ensure that Saskatoon City Hospital’s medical imaging equipment is the most current and relevant available. Your donations will support the purchase of a new portable x-ray unit as well as the upgrading of the department’s fluoroscopy suite.
You’ll help ensure that the 50,000 annual imaging procedures – for both inpatients and outpatients – are delivered with the best equipment possible.
Fluoroscopy is an imaging procedure that often uses a contrasting media – a liquid seen with x-rays – when capturing live images.
Richard Dagenais, manager of Medical Imaging, says the fluoroscopy room at Saskatoon City Hospital is showing its age. “The equipment is 16 years old and the vendor no longer guarantees replacement parts are available. We’re seeing degradation of imaging from the machine.”
Many people will know the fluoroscopy room for barium swallows, which is essential when looking at malformations of the esophagus and stomach, and even in cancer detection. Dagenais says the barium x-rays also help “patients who are post-stroke or similar. We can look at their ability to speak and swallow. We’re able to image them in real time to look for defects. City Hospital is the busiest site in the city for barium procedures.”
In addition to fluoroscopic x-rays, the room is used for other procedures including nephrostomy tube and PICC line insertions, joint injections, obstetric procedures that benefit women with fertility challenges, uterine defects, endometriosis issues, and fallopian tube malformations; and in urodynamic studies to determine causes of bladder control issues.
“Thousands of patients will spend time in fluoroscopy,” Dagenais says. “The suite is often the first step and first stop in discovery for many patients. Having the best and newest equipment possible will ensure accurate diagnoses that lead to more effective treatments.”
Medical Imaging is also asking for a new portable x-ray unit. The current units at the hospital have been in use since the new building opened in 1993.
“They’re old and their technology impractical,” Dagenais reports. “The portable x-ray units we have now can expose a film or digital cassette but, to see the images, the technologist has to visit a patient, acquire the images, take the plates they’ve exposed to medical imaging, process the plates, and then share them with a physician who needs to log into the system to see them.”
If there’s a problem with an image, the process needs to be repeated, Dagenais says. “With a digital system, images are acquired and available for viewing immediately; they’re also available for viewing on the equipment itself. The image itself is vastly improved.”
He adds that digital is ideal especially in emergency and code blue situations. “You’re saving those minutes of processing and logging in because you’re able to see images right away and make treatment decisions faster.”
Dagenais says the new portable x-ray will benefit numerous “patients who are post-operative. And not stable enough to move. Most portable imaging is chests, abdomens and pelvises but the x-ray unit can do everything if needed.”
To help healthcare professionals in Medical Imaging get a better look, donate at SCHFdonate.com, by calling 306-655-8489 or 1-800-603-4464, or in person at the Foundation office.