MILLS MEMORIAL Hospital has taken possession of a $100,000 advanced portable ultrasound unit thanks to donations made through the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation.
A ceremonial presentation of a $100,000 cheque was made by the foundation to the hospital last week.
The portable nature of the unit means it can be easily moved between hospital departments such as the emergency room which is adjacent to the intensive care unit.
And it's sophisticated enough to be able to help find veins for IVs.
But what makes the General Electric unit stand out is the ability to do echocardiography, providing clear and precise images of a person's heart and associated areas.
That's going to help prevent sending heart attack patients elsewhere for echocardiograms to determine if surgery is required, says Northern Health Authority administrator Marie Nygaard.
“For an echo you would have needed to go to Prince Rupert, Smithers, Vancouver or Prince George,” she said.
Having to send people away is not only stressful on the person but cost savings will help ease health care budgets, Nygaard continued.
Lee foundation chair Todd Taylor said achieving the goal of buying the unit was “phenomenal.”
“We just had tremendous support,” said Taylor.
It took about a year and a half to raise the money and the unit's purchase was one of the larger undertakings of the foundation.