Ultrasound technology makes use of sound waves to produce high-quality diagnostic images that show what’s happening inside a patient’s body. With ultrasounds, clinicians can observe in real-time a wide range of symptoms, including pain, blood clots, and abnormal growths.
In the last decade, advancements have made ultrasound imaging faster, more detailed, and more precise. Ultrasounds are now used in every department of a hospital. They’ve also become smaller and portable, meaning they can be used at a patient’s bedside. This allows the care teams to gather essential information for excellent care while also minimizing patient discomfort and the need for other, more costly, time-consuming tests.
The ultrasound departments at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals performed almost 40,000 ultrasounds last year.
Equipment in this area funded by generous donors supporting The Big Picture campaign:
Bladder Scanners - Emergency Department (VGH) + Home Dialysis Clinic (RJH)
An ultrasound machine emits sound waves and different tissues produce different echoes. A bladder scanner is designed to calculate the level of fluid in the bladder, a useful feature for clinicians before, during, and after their patients undergo procedures.
A new system will ensure the high standard of patient care Victoria General Hospital provides is continued and enhanced. Another will assist caregivers when they insert peritoneal dialysis catheters at patient bedsides in Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Home Dialysis Clinic.
Victoria General Hospital completes over 200 procedures per year that require the use of a bladder scanner. The scanner for the Home Dialysis Clinic will be used on about 50 patients per year at Royal Jubilee Hospital.
2 needed @$14,000 each.
Cardiac Ultrasound System - Echocardiography (RJH)
Cardiac ultrasounds generate high quality images of the heart for nearly 2,000 – 3,000 patients per year. Cardiologists in echocardiography conduct and analyse ultrasounds of the heart and its blood vessels — assessing their structure, function, and overall performance for diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular patients. Newer echocardiography machines are capable of doing far more than ever before:
- Three-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography creates still or moving image of the internal parts of the heart — assessing valves and chamber size and function — with an ultrasonic probe placed on the chest or abdomen.
- Strain imaging checks for deformations in the heart’s muscle tissue.
- Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography creates the most detailed readings possible of cardiovascular performance with a piece of ultrasound equipment called a transducer that is inserted into the esophagus.
- Left ventricular opacification creates greater visuals of the heart by means of ultrasonic contrast agents. These enhance the contrast between the heart’s structure and its blood flow, clarifying next steps in treatment and sometimes helping a patient avoid unnecessary, invasive procedures.
- Stress echocardiography compares two echocardiograms to see how the heart does under stress, one done before the heart undergoes pharmaceutically or exercise-induced stress, and one done immediately after.
- Bubble studies help doctors get a better, ultrasonic view of the path of blood through the heart —using a bubbly liquid that locates abnormal blood flow (shunts).
Each cardiac ultrasound is used to generate high quality images of the heart for over 2,000 patients at Royal Jubilee Hospital per year.
1 needed @$168,000.
Continuous Wave Doppler Ultrasounds - Ultrasound (RJH)
These ultrasounds are used to examine blood flow and blood flow speed. Continuous wave Doppler ultrasounds in particular can measure very high blood velocities. Because high blood velocity is observed in some heart conditions, this equipment will help our care providers diagnose and treat them. These ultrasounds will be used daily for diagnosis of patients from across Vancouver Island.
These ultrasounds will help over 11,000 patients at Royal Jubilee Hospital per year.
2 needed @$25,500 each, or $51,000.
Doppler ultrasound unit - Antepartum (VGH)
From outside a mother’s body, the Doppler ultrasound unit is used to check the rate and pattern of a baby’s heartbeat — before birth and, intermittently, during labour and delivery. The unit’s probe, called a transducer, emits and receives continuous ultrasound waves and registers shifts in frequency and wavelength. As the distance between the probe and the fetal heart beat becomes shorter, the heartbeat becomes louder.
6 needed at $2,150 each.
Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound Scope - Endoscopy (RJH)
This ultrasound scope is used by Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Endoscopy department for lung cancer detection. Through an ultrasound procedure, the scope uses sound waves to produce diagnostic images. These help physicians determine the extent of a patient’s cancer in lymph nodes and tumours in the lung, allowing for a more reliable diagnosis and treatment tailored to size and extent of the cancer.
These procedures are relatively simple and helps clinicians avoid more expensive and time-consuming imaging techniques — and even surgery.
This scope will be used for almost 300 patients per year at Royal Jubilee Hospital.
1 needed at $84,000.
IV Therapy Ultrasound - General Medicine (RJH + VGH)
Intravenous (IV) therapy is a procedure that delivers liquids directly into a patient’s vein. The use of the ultrasound systems assists patients who require intravenous therapies to replace fluids, administer medication, or transfuse blood, particularly those patients who may be more challenging to access without ultrasound visualization.
These ultrasounds will be used for over 2,000 procedures per year at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals.
4 needed @$76,000 each.
Rehab Ultrasound System - Neurosciences & Rehabilitation (VGH)
For treatment of neurologically impaired patients, the Rehab Ultrasound System will use sound waves to create diagnostic images for clinicians in Neurosciences & Rehabilitation at Victoria General Hospital. These images will guide injections into areas of a patient’s body with severe muscle spasticity, where muscles are continuously contracted. By reducing muscle spasticity, patients are more easily and comfortably positioned in a wheelchair, with reduced risk of pressure sores and contractures (permanent deformities caused by prolonged static joint postures). This in turn improves function and results in improved quality of life.
Up to 1,000 patients per year will benefit from this ultrasound at Victoria General Hospital.
Ultrasounds - Ultrasound (RJH + VGH)
An ultrasound machine makes use of sound waves to produce diagnostic images for clinicians. This state-of-the-art ultrasound unit will provide Diagnostic Services with high resolution images to assist in diagnostic and treatment procedures. Ultrasounds can be used for a variety of procedures, including fetal monitoring, guiding biopsies, and assessment of internal organs. Up-to-date technology ensures our patients receive the highest quality of care possible.
Over 17,000 ultrasounds were performed at Victoria General Hospital last year. Over 21,000 ultrasounds were performed at Royal Jubilee Hospital last year.
4 needed at $97,000.
Ultrasound Equipment for Anesthesia - Operating Rooms (RJH + VGH)
This ultrasound is necessary for improved visibility during anesthetic procedures. These include:
- Peripheral nerve blocks — injections of anesthetic that freeze nerves and areas of the body they supply feeling to.
- Central line insertions, which are IV lines inserted in large veins in the neck or near the heart.
- Echocardiography, the use of ultrasonic waves to investigate the action of the heart.
- Lung ultrasounds that rule out pneumothorax, the presence of air between the lungs and chest wall that can cause collapse of the lung.
- Arterial line or difficult IV insertion.
- Gastric visualization, images of the stomach.
- Difficult epidurals during childbirth.
Used on at least 50% of patients coming through operating rooms, this equipment is vital for nerve blocks and central line insertion.
3 needed at $91,700 each.
Ultrasound Probe - Emergency Department (RJH)
This intracavity probe attaches to an ultrasound. It’s used for imaging during urinary tract, obstetrics, and gynecological procedures. This ultrasound quickly assists emergency room physicians in ruling out preliminary diagnoses for pregnant patients or those experiencing abdominal distress, providing immediate reassurance while they await other tests or procedures in the emergency room.
This probe is used for over 300 procedures per year at Royal Jubilee Hospital.
1 needed at $11,000.
Ultrasound Probe - Ultrasound (VGH)
This light-weight ultrasound probe will be used for real-time applications. An ultrasound machine makes use of sound waves in the ultrasonic spectrum to produce diagnostic images for clinicians. The results are displayed on a monitor as an image for the clinicians to observe in real-time, allowing them to make any adjustments to the probe’s position necessary to produce the desired view.
1 needed at $9,000.
Ultrasound Probe - Ultrasound (VGH)
This electronic ultrasound probe will be used for complex fetal cardiac cases. An ultrasound machine makes use of sound waves in the ultrasonic spectrum to produce diagnostic images for clinicians. The results are displayed on a monitor as an image for the clinicians to observe in real-time, allowing them to make any adjustments to the probe’s position necessary to produce the desired view.
1 needed at $33,000.