Maranoa patients will no longer have to travel long distances for after-hours emergency imaging, with a new 24-7 scanning service coming to the South West Hospital in the new year.
The all-hours CT machine will be operational by January 4, benefiting residents who require a speedy diagnosis for serious injuries or illness, especially after hours.
Executive Director of Medical Services, Dr Tom Gibson, says the news will reduce the pressure on regional patients.
“For elderly patients in particular, it will take away the stress of flights and being hospitalised away from the region,” he says.
Patients will soon be able to visit the South West Hospital directly for a suite of services including x-rays, ultrasounds and CT (computed tomography) scans.
According to Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager, Tracey Hansen, efficient scanning services are vital to the region, which has a high number of spinal injuries occurring from football, motocross, camp drafting and oil and gas accidents.
“[At the moment] patients might have to be kept lying flat on their backs for up to 24 hours to keep their spinal column in good alignment until they can be evacuated,’’ she says.
“But with this new service, they will be able to have their scans immediately, right here in Roma.
The re-location of scanning services to the hospital will also alleviate burdens on medical staff, who may spend hours transporting and accompanying patients to Roma’s existing faculties on McDowell St.
“Often, nurses are away for two or three hours with patients, ambulances are tied up and doctors called in to inject contrast solutions for emergency patient scanning,” says Ms Hansen.
The advanced CT technology will greatly improve the hospital’s diagnostic capabilities, marking a win for the new year.
“It’s certainly one of the best news stories we’ve had in 2015,” says Mr Gibson.