Bluewater Health Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Youssef Almalki shows off the new GE Revolution CT machine at the Sarnia hospital. January 11, 2017 photo by Melanie Irwin

New CT Machine In Operation (VIDEO & GALLERY)

Bluewater Health’s new state-of-the-art GE Revolution CT machine has started to accept its first patients.

Local media were invited to the Sarnia site for a behind the scenes tour Wednesday, to see the machine that can scan a patient in a heartbeat or .23 seconds.

Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Youssef Almalki says alterations were made to the suite to accommodate the new equipment, but changes were also made to improve patient flow.

“Not only do we have the best equipment in the room, we also have the best patient experience in terms of paneling on the walls, we have a mural on the wall that shows the woods, a nature scene,” says Almalki. “The whole idea is to have the patient feel like they are not so much at a hospital but more in a home-type environment. In addition, while they’re in the scanner, they have the ability to have a distraction, in terms of [images] on the scanner itself. To look for little animals and little puzzles while they’re getting scanned to get their mind off things.”

Almalki says wider doors to accommodate hospital beds and a mechanical lift have also been installed.

“Currently we accommodate 16,000 patients a year, which if you think about it is a great percentage in terms of our Sarnia-Lambton population,” he says. “We can’t really project how many patients we’re going to have, because a lot come from the emergency department and inpatients, but we are confident and hopeful that we can accommodate more patients at the best of our ability.”

He says the new scanner offers more comfort, accuracy and less radiation due to it’s speed.

Bluewater Health Foundation Executive Director Kathy Alexander says 60% of the $2.4-million project cost has now been raised.

“We’re really thrilled with that progress since we’ve been actively fundraising for six to seven months,” says Alexander. “We realize we still have 40% left to go, but we’re very optimistic that together with the community, and once they see the capabilities of this new scanner, they will realize how valuable it is for Sarnia-Lambton and rally together to make that goal happen for us.”

Proceeds from this years Dream Home Lottery and the foundation’s golf tournament in June will go towards the purchase.