From left to right: Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Youssef Almalki, Director of Diagnostic Imaging Diane Cadieux and Bluewater Health Foundation Executive Director Kathy Alexander stand in front of the entrance to the hospital's CT suite, currently under renovation. November 2, 2016 photo by Melanie Irwin.

New CT Machine Can Scan In A Heartbeat

Bluewater Health’s Sarnia site is preparing for installation of a new state-of-the-art GE Revolution CT machine that can scan a patient in .23 seconds.

The suite is being altered to make way for the new equipment that is to be ready for use in mid-January.

Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Youssef Almalki says the old scanner has been removed.

“We have a backup CT scanner in nuclear medicine, which is part of our department, it is a state-of-the-art machine that we just acquired three months ago for this purpose,” says Almalki. “So, the idea is that we have a backup solution for our patients in Sarnia-Lambton throughout this process and afterwards.”

He says the Sarnia hospital will be just the third in Ontario and sixth in the country to have the most cutting edge scanner on the market today.

“The next closest CT scanner the same as ours is at St. Mike’s (St. Michael’s Hospital) in downtown Toronto,” says Almalki.

Almalki says the speed of the scanner is most impressive.

“The scanner rotates around in .23 seconds, which is phenomenally fast. It generates 25 g’s of force when it rotates,” he says. “The other thing is we’re buying the latest technology in terms of detectors for the x-ray. So that means lower radiation.”

Chief of Communications Julia Oosterman is thrilled that the new technology will be available to area residents.

“About ten years ago my daughter, who at the time was not even two years old, had to have a traditional CT scan,” she says. “To have the CT scan, because of the length of time it took, she had to be rocked to sleep. She couldn’t be sedated because she had a serious head injury. It was the longest two hours of my life.”

“Pediatric patients are known to wiggle and squirm, but so are people from motor vehicle accidents, individuals who perhaps have Parkinson’s… there are a whole bunch of different reasons why it’s difficult to have people be still,” says Oosterman. “People can come to the hospital in trying and difficult times, so to be able to do proper diagnostic imaging and proper tests as quickly and as pain free as possible, with the best quality of care, makes us pretty proud.”

About 30% of the $2.4-million project cost has been raised.

The Bluewater Health Foundation continues to fundraise and proceeds from this year’s Dream Home Lottery will go towards the purchase.