Major Strides for Health Care

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Major Strides for Health Care

A 64 Slice CT Scanner and Hyperbaric Chamber are now ready for use at the St. Augustine Medical Services.

On Wednesday 17th May, SAMS held a special blessing and launch event for the recently acquired two pieces of equipment. This was in order to mark the significance of their availability to the Grenadian community and visitors to the country and to take the opportunity to thank the persons involved in the process and final realization of a long-held goal.

In his opening remarks, Managing Director & Resident Physician at SAMS, Dr. Lutz Amechi, stressed the need to continue making improvements in the health sector. He stated, “historically in Grenada, the equipment we had may have been lacking, and the cost of healthcare a challenge for both our residents and visitors. We in the healthcare sector are very cognizant of this, and SAMS’ decision to invest in the country’s first hyperbaric chamber and a 64 slice CT scanner, only the second of its kind in the region, is a statement that speaks to the growth and improvement of the caliber of healthcare we can now offer.” 

CT scans create extremely detailed cross-sectional images by rotating around the body inside the gantry, which is the machine’s large doughnut-shaped opening. A CT scanner is also unique because it can display a combination of soft tissue, bones and blood vessels in a single image. 

The 64-slice CT scanner is even more powerful than a regular CT scanner in that it captures up to 64 simultaneous anatomical slices of 0.5 mm in a single gantry rotation. This state of the art equipment allows 3D reconstruction of the images, allowing greater detail of the scanned anatomy for diagnosis.

In addition, the CT technology allows for the performance of virtual angiographies and colonoscopies. This allows greater ease and comfort for screening for heart disease and colon cancer.  

Present at the event, Head of Orthopedics & Medical Director at the General Hospital, Dr. Kester Dragon, praised SAMS for continually ‘raising the bar’ and particularly so with the addition of the new technology. He was supported by Dr. George Mitchell, Chief Medical Officer with the Ministry of Health, who added “through partnerships, such as this one with St. Augustine’s Medical Services, more can be accomplished and achieved as it relates to healthcare in the island” Dr. Mitchell concluded his remarks by reiterating Dr. Amechi’s sentiments that “the Government cannot do everything which may need to be done, alone.”

The concluding speaker at the event, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, in her address highlighted the benefits that the acquisition of the hyperbaric equipment will provide support for Grenada’s growing dive tourism sector and resident fisher-folk.  She informed those gathered, “government is extremely proud to be part of such an important project, one of governments key roles is to build public/ private partnerships, for the overall benefit of the country and our people. Dr. Amechi and SAMS have to be commended for their constant positive additions to the healthcare landscape over the 19 years they have been established,” she concluded.

The hyperbaric chamber at SAMS is a multi-place chamber, which allows for treatment of more than one patient at a time. It may be most commonly known for treating ‘the bends’, associated with diving mishaps. However, it is also used for treating a number of medical ailments such as diabetic foot ulcers, burns, compromised skin grafts, bone infections, gangrene and ischemic strokes to name but a few.

A viewing of the CT scanner and hyperbaric chamber, in their specially constructed housing followed.

Both the CT scanner and hyperbaric chamber are now in fully functional use at St Augustine’s Medical Services Inc, St. Paul. 

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