New diagnostic equipment announced for Grace Hospital

Updates in x-ray, nuclear medicine, with MRI in the works

Sharon Blady and Kellie O'Rourke
Health minister Sharon Blady (left) and Kellie O'Rourke, Chief Operating Officer of Winnipeg West Integrated Health and Social Services at the announcement of new diagnostic equipment for the Grace Hospital.

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Grace Hospital will have new x-ray and nuclear medicine equipment within the next two years and an MRI in the works, according to an announcement made today by the Province of Manitoba.

Three million dollars in funding will pay for updated digital x-ray and nuclear medicine equipment at the hospital. The Grace performs around 2,450 nuclear medicine scans and in 2012 to 2013, more than 21,000 scans were performed by one x-ray suite.

“Patients get more accurate and timely diagnosis of injuries and illnesses when health-care providers have access to the most modern and up-to-date technology," said provincial Health Minister Sharon Blady at the announcement. “The new equipment will replace existing machines, improving the reliability of services and reducing test rescheduling.”

Nuclear medicine uses specialized cameras to take scans of internal organs for the diagnosis of a range of illnesses and injuries. A substance called a tracer is administered to target a specific part of the body and a gamma camera scans the area to get information about how the different systems are functioning. Nuclear medicine scans can be used for bone-related pathology, pulmonary function, heart function and organ system disease, as well as thyroid function and treatment. 

The government has also released a tender for the purchase and installation of a new magnetic resonance imager (MRI) at the hospital, which will add capacity for thousands of additional scans.

MRIs use magnets to create and read signals from the water molecules in a patient's body.  These signals are used to form detailed images of the body and the function of organs such as the heart as well as other soft tissues.

The images produced by MRI scanners cover all areas of the body and commonly include images of the brain and spinal cord, muscles, bones, connective tissue, organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart, breast, prostate and blood vessels. 

“Health care delivery is enhanced when the right tools are available to do the job,” said Arlene Wilgosh, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “When advancements in diagnosis are supported by advancements in equipment, the people we care for ultimately benefit.”

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