Petra Pardy

New weapon added to Chilliwack hospital’s diagnostic arsenal

An echocardiogram unit has been added to the imaging department at CGH, giving doctors another tool to provide better health care

There’s been another exciting advancement at Chilliwack General Hospital, one that’s expected to shorten wait times and keep people closer to home.

An echocardiogram unit has been added to the imaging department, giving local doctors another tool to provide better health care for patients in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope and the Fraser Canyon. The machine was put into use about three weeks ago in the diagnostic imaging department, with a sonographer at the helm.

Last Thursday, the hospital held an official ribbon cutting to celebrate this addition to its facility.

Patients have had to travel to Abbotsford for echocardiographs and faced up to nine-month wait times. Chilliwack’s new unit will take the pressure off the Abbotsford hospital, the BC Ambulance Service, and eventually be used by 900 patients annually.

An echocardiogram  tests the action of the heart using ultrasound waves to produce a visual display, used for the diagnosis or monitoring of heart disease. A routine test takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Right now, they are using the machine on six or seven emergency patients a day. When they add another sonographer to the team, they will be able to increase those numbers and open the unit to outpatient use.

The new ‘echo’ unit was purchased by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, who raised $118,000 in support of the project, and the rooms were created by renovating storage space.

“This has been our wish list for some time and we really wanted to make a difference for patients,” said Liz Harris, executive director of the FVHCF.

They would eventually like to purchase a second machine if demand calls for it, and a room has been set aside for that potential growth, too.

Local internal medicine physicians are partnering with the cardiologists at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) to support this service.

Results are sent to a member of the cardiology team who will report the results remotely from Abbotsford.

Dr. Naser Sayeh, Cardiologist at ARH said, “Echocardiography is a key to in our arsenal to diagnose and manage cardiac disease.  We are very happy to have echo expanding to Chilliwack. This will expedite care for the community.”

Currently, patients in hospital are able to use this unit. Once Fraser Health has fully recruited all needed diagnostic sonographers, the unit will be available to outpatient services.

“This keeps people close to home,” said Petra Pardy, Executive Director, Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz Health Services and Chilliwack General Hospital and Fraser Canyon Hospital. Often, patients are transported from Chilliwack and beyond to Abbotsford by ambulance. Having this service locally will take pressure off that service, she said.

The Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation is always fundraising to improve health care locally. To learn more, visit www.fvhcf.ca or call 604-701-4051.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Young bear killed downtown Chilliwack was habituated to humans

Conservation officer says bear would not have been a candidate for relocation

Severe thunderstorm possible for Fraser Valley

Environment Canada has put out a watch for the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Chilliwack man faces Motor Vehicle Act charge for crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

UPDATE: ‘Spontaneous combustion’ likely cause of fire at mushroom composting facility on Lougheed Highway

First responders were at the blaze near the Skawahlook First Nation Tuesday

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

Fraser Institute releases latest B.C. high school rankings

Fastest improving schools are in cities including Agassiz, Kitimat and 100 Mile House

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Most Read