New internal imaging technology gives Greater Victoria doctors more options

Donor matching promise to boost foundation's fundraising campaign

There are a lot of ways interventional angiography can help improve the health of patients and even save lives.

That’s why the Victoria Hospitals Foundation is targeting the purchase of two new medical imaging systems – they’ll allow doctors to see inside blood vessels and internal organs – with its fall fundraising campaign, launched Tuesday at Victoria General Hospital in View Royal.

“These machines will be used for more than 60 different procedures from the routine to the life-saving,” said Dr. Paul Sobkin, clinical section head for angiography/interventional radiology. “With these new systems, we will be able to perform advanced procedures not currently possible and apply our techniques to more patients with increased accuracy and confidence.”

Among the critical procedures the equipment would enable are the removal of blood clots from arteries and veins, establishing vascular access to allow for kidney dialysis, stabilizing spinal fractures due to osteoporosis and stopping internal bleeding following trauma or surgery.

Sobkin added the new technology will also lower the amount of radiation exposure to patients and caregivers by up to 60 per cent from current equipment.

Area residents can expect to receive more information soon from the Foundation on how to help. Important to note is the fact an anonymous donor has committed to match donations dollar for dollar up to $750,000, said Foundation board chair Cathy McIntyre.

“We are calling on our community to help us raise $1.5 million for these sophisticated systems, that will be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including stroke, renal failure and osteoporosis,” she said.

The systems are destined for each of the region’s major hospitals, one at VGH and the other at Royal Jubilee. They are the only referral centres on Vancouver Island for a variety of interventional radiology treatments. Ten to 12 procedures a day and more than 2,500 a year will be done with the new machines.

Contributions can be made by calling 250-519-1750, or donations can be made online at victoriahf.ca.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com