Vital piece of x-ray equipment needs replacement

BARRY’S BAY – Don’t let its name fool you.

The wall detector in the St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s diagnostic imaging department might sound unimportant, but nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, if the hospital did not have an up-to-date wall detector, 70 per cent of people coming from the emergency department needing an x-ray would be turned away.

That’s because the wall detector is a primary tool used in chest x-rays, the most common diagnostic imaging done for patients to the ER. These types of x-rays can see signs of pneumonia or other infections in the lungs.

“It’s like a canvas to a painter; you need that piece of equipment,” Charge Technologist for the diagnostic imaging department Cathy Amyotte said. “To me, it’s the most important piece of equipment in the room for the patients.”

Without a fully-functioning diagnostic imaging department, it would be almost impossible to have an effective emergency department, since the two work so closely together.

Dr. Alex Atfield is the ER lead for St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

“If x-rays are down for some reason; if there is a problem with the power supply or another issue comes along, that’s going to be a difficult day,” he said. “We are going to rely on sending patients out perhaps if they are unwell to get that test done.”

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