purchases Radiology equipment
St Mary’s Hospital and Clinics recently purchased a C-arm for use in their Radiology Department. The portable device will be used to take ‘live’ images which will aid both in diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions.
“The C-arm creates a moving picture in real time,” said Kevin Daly, Manager, Radiology Department. “A doctor can use it to watch while a bone is being set after a fracture or it can be used in surgery to view the complete removal of a gall bladder.”
According to Daly, it will be used in a variety of settings including the Emergency Room, the surgery suite and for clinic patients. “Having it be portable means we can use it for different types of procedures in different locations. We’ll also use it for our older patients with swallowing problems to help trace the mechanics, isolate the problem and treat it to avoid possible aspiration.”
“We are in the process of acquiring a CT scanner and constructing a separate building on campus to house it,” said Daly. “Our eventual goal is to have digitized equipment which will give us the ability to send live images over the phone lines for instantaneous readings by radiologists, regardless of their physical location.”
Hospitals conduct HazMat drills
Last week both St. Mary’s Hospital and Clearwater Valley Hospital, Orofino, conducted decontamination for hazardous materials drills. Both hospitals received grants earlier in the year to assist in preparation in the event of a possible bioterrorist incident. Grant funds were also used to purchase decontamination suits, showers and other equipment and supplies.
“Although the grants use federal monies to help prepare for bioterrorism events, the protocols, equipment and training we have been developing are the same that would be used if there was a local incident such as accidental misuse of farm chemicals,” said Jean Albers, RN, CVHC, who was responsible for helping develop the hospitals’ emergency preparedness plan. The plan includes working with other area response teams in case of emergency.
Last week’s drills used the outdoor decontamination shower which entails cordoning off a ‘dirty’ and a ‘clean’ area and using special suits to clean hazardous materials from a person prior to bringing them into the hospital ER for treatment. In the case of an actual event, the disposable suits and run off water from the shower would be picked up for disposal by the Lewiston-based Hazardous Materials team.