Dr. Tracy Rodgers can already list many examples of how the maternal child unit’s new portable ultrasound has improved patient care, and it’s been at St. Joseph’s General Hospital for only a few weeks.
The equipment was purchased thanks to a $37,200 grant from Variety – The Children’s Charity, and Rodgers was interviewed by Shaw TV last week for a segment of Variety’s 47th annual Show of Hearts Telethon, airing in January. The obstetrician says she’s easily used the equipment a dozen times since it came to the maternal child unit, noting a recent example of a patient who was 12 weeks pregnant.
“She’d had a previous miscarriage and I couldn’t find the fetal heart in my office with the doppler, and (the couple was) obviously very anxious about that,” recalls Rodgers.
“Generally when that happens we have to order an ultrasound through the radiology department, which takes a few days — minimum — because it’s not an emergency, and during those few days there’s a lot of psychological distress for the mom (to-be).
“Because we have this (portable ultrasound) I was able to bring her over on my lunch break and use this ultrasound, and we found the fetal heart, and her and her husband got to see the baby and they left very happy … so it was able to relieve their stress quite quickly.”
Some other uses include diagnosing a breech birth; determining a placental abruption, which requires immediate intervention; and identifying patients in preterm labour immediately by measuring cervical length.
Part of the funds for this grant were raised via the Variety Children’s Radiothon, which airs annually on 97.3 The Eagle. The next radiothon will happen April 30 to May 1 and callers can also sponsor Buddy Bears, which are delivered to children in St. Joseph’s and the Campbell River Hospital.
Since 1999, Variety has donated $165,000 to St. Joseph’s, supporting health care for children and families in the Comox Valley.
“Variety is committed to providing funding to families with children who have special needs, and our grant to the hospital extends that support to many families at once,” Bernice Scholten, Variety’s executive director, says in a news release. “We strive to give families hope and security in the knowledge that if help is needed, Variety will be there.”
Variety’s Show of Hearts Telethon will air Jan. 25 and 26 on Global BC. For more information about Variety – The Children’s Charity, visit www.variety.bc.ca or call toll-free at 604-310-KIDS (5437).