Lions donate new ultrasound to Community Health Centre

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Monday, September 23 2013

There’s a new ultrasound machine at the Gabriola Community Health Centre, thanks to a $19,000.00 donation from the Gabriola Lions Club and $6,000.00 from BC Gaming.

Dr. Paul Champion and Chuck Conners from the Gabriola Health Care Foundation presented a request to the Gabriola Lions last June for financial assistance to purchase the equipment for use in the urgent care room at the Centre.

Dr. Francois Bosman is shown some of the functions of the ultrasound by Michelle Baillie of Siemens Canada while Dr. Bob Henderson serves as the test subject. Derek Kilbourn photo

The goal of the Foundation was to have equipment to improve patient diagnosis on-site, and to be able to share the imagery with specialists on Vancouver Island.

Graham Miller, Lions President, and Bill Kalbfleisch, Lions Secretary, presented the ultrasound to the Centre this past Wednesday, September 18.

Dr. Francois Bosman, representing the doctors of the Centre, accepted the ultrasound saying it will be of use to the Centre in a number of ways.

“It is most useful in acute emergencies,” he explained, saying this particular ultrasound is not the same ultrasound that islanders would see if sent to imaging specialists in Nanaimo or Victoria.

What the ultrasound will be is a screening tool, so that the doctors can better ascertain which type of specialist patients should go to.

Francois said Dr. Jon Secord, the locum filling in for Dr. Tracey Thorne, is more experienced with ultrasound than he is but will be taking courses this fall.

“These are certainly not just for pregnancy, although in the case of an emergency with a pregnancy, especially in the early stages, it lets you see how healthy the pregnancy is.”

Francois says when it comes to trauma-caused vascular injuries, the ultrasound could save hours in terms of patient care.

“[Typically], when we see someone with a vascular injury, those people cannot be referred to Nanaimo, they need a vascular surgeon, and they are in Victoria or Vancouver. We need to know where to send the patient.”

If a patient is first sent to Nanaimo and is then diagnosed with a vascular injury, that can take two to three hours to happen.

Instead, the ultrasound will allow the on-call doctors to see there is an injury requiring transport to Victoria or Vancouver, and they can then call in a helicopter.

It can also show when a patient has collapsed lungs, or clots in legs.

A “doppler mode” built into the machine will actually tell doctors if there is blood going through an artery.

“There are multiple ways in which they are really useful,” said Francois.

“What should be clear though, is this does not replace doing shoulder or diagnostic ultrasounds - the imaging done in Nanaimo is way more specialized than what we can do here. But this is very, very useful to have here.

“Especially when it comes to emergency applications.”

(L-R) Dr. Paul Champion and Nancy Rowan from the Gabriola Health Care Foundation; Dr. Francois Bosman; Gabriola Lions’ Club President Graham Miller and Secretary Bill Kalbfleisch; Michele Baillie with Siemens Canada. Derek Kilbourn photo