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Emergency ultrasound provides patients quick diagnosis for critical cardiac situations

Thanks to the support of our generous community, cardiac ultrasound services are making a lasting impact on the delivery of Emergency health care services in Wood Buffalo.

In 2010, the Northern Lights Health Foundation funded a Fast Ultrasound Machine for the Emergency Department of the Northern Lights Health Regional Health Centre. The machine provides health care providers the ability to do emergency ultrasounds on patients. Health care providers working within the Emergency Department use ultrasound to quickly diagnose patients suffering conditions such as chest, abdominal and pelvic pain.

According to Dr. Brian Dufresne, Chief of Emergency for the Health Centre, having ultrasound services available within the Emergency Department is critical to providing patients a standard level of care.

“Ultrasound is the standard of care in all emergency departments in North America so it keeps us up to an acceptable level of care and proves the capacity for us to diagnose in Emergency rather than sending them over to Radiology,” says Dr. Dufresne, a longtime physician in Fort McMurray and Program Director of the Health Centre’s Trauma Program.

In 2013, the Emergency Department reached out to the Health Foundation to assist in expanding their ultrasound capabilities through funding a cardiac transducer probe. This piece of equipment provides Emergency Department Physicians the means to identify life threatening cardiac conditions such as a bleed in a patient’s heart, heart murmurs and damage to the heart after a heart attack.

That year, the Health Foundation funded the probe through the generous support of attendees at their annual Spring Fling.

According to Dr. Dufresne, the probe has a significant impact on both patients and staff within the Emergency Department.

“The main impact on patients is early diagnosis of life threatening injuries and from a staffing point of view, it reduces the need to transfer the patient back and forth to Radiology,” he says.

The probe allows health care providers the ability to diagnosis of life threatening injuries, providing patients a greater chance at survival and recovery. It also eases pressure on staff when their patients are facing critical situations, allowing them to provide the highest standard of care possible.

The Health Foundation’s Signature Events such as Spring Fling have supported the funding of priority medical equipment programs and services in the Wood Buffalo region for over 25 years.

To learn more about how you can purchase tickets, volunteer or become a sponsor for one of the Health Foundation’s Signature Events, contact our Events Manager.
Make a gift today

Emergency Ultrasound and Sonosite P21 - Feb 4 2015 001.jpgDr. Brian Dufresne, Chief of Emergency for the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre

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