Doctors and health partitioners in Alert Bay have a brand new ultrasound machine thanks to the Cormorant Island Hospital Auxiliary (C.I.A).
C.I.A. members purchased the SonoSite SII Ultrasound Machine through proceeds from the C.I.A. Boutique Thrift Shop.
Auxiliary member Anne Sennin said the group has been saving for two years in order to purchase the machine which cost roughly $35,000.00.
“It’s really needed,” said Sennin, adding that she was happy the hospital and community finally have this essential piece of medical equipment.
C.I.A. members visited the ultrasound machine in its new home at the Cormorant Island Health Centre on March 26, where SonoSite Territory Manager Brett Hagardt was also on site to deliver the machine.
Hagardt explained that SonoSite was created from a U.S. Department of Defence grant during the Gulf War, to invent an ultrasound machine that was portable and under 10 pounds so it could fit on the back of a medic and be used to diagnose internal bleeding in the field.
“Later on when emergency physicians came back from Desert Storm they said ‘why don’t we have an ultrasound in our emergency rooms?’,” said Hagardt, adding that the technology is now very effectively used in remote communities like Alert Bay.
“It can help so much and give a lot of peace of mind especially to the physicians who just don’t know if someone is bleeding internally,” said Hagardt adding “There are so many stories about this exact thing, finding a rupture of the spleen or something they wouldn’t have caught from the signs and symptoms or other exam types.”
Hagardt noted there are other applications for the machine with some examples including basic obstetrics looks, finding a fetal heart rate, or looking for a detached retina.
“You can do a huge number of exam types with this,” said Hagardt.
The $35,000 SII SonoSite Ultrasound Machine is the largest single purchase the C.I.A. has fundraised and donated to the hospital in the group’s long history.
The C.I.A., which celebrated its 70th anniversary last September, has raised over $350,000 for various health care needs on Cormorant Island throughout the years.