Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is getting new life-saving equipment to diagnose cardiac conditions thanks to a $750,000 anonymous donation to Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.
The hospital is getting its first transesophageal echocardiography system, known as TEE.
The state-of-the-art equipment, worth $500,000, allows doctors to picture the heart’s movement, check for blood health, see clots, and any harmful bodies or diseases in the circulatory system.
“Essentially it’s an ultrasound that goes down to your esophagus and gives a better look at your heart than the conventional ultrasound,” said Iaian Park, foundation executive director on Monday.
The TEE will shorten diagnosis time, show the presence of arterial clots and further infections, assess valves for ruptures or leaks, and help prevent cryptogenic strokes, which are sudden and of unknown origin.
It will aid echo and stress testing for patients with cardiac conditions that require more detailed analysis and tailored treatment.
Other benefits include the elimination of X-rays for pregnant women and patients already in weak health.
Currently Red Deer patients in need of TEE screening must be moved to Calgary or Edmonton and the wait time is two to four weeks.
Dr. Jitendra Singh, internist at the hospital’s cardiology unit, said the TEE will be a very important asset to the unit.
For patients with moderate to severe conditions, the TEE will analyze the heart’s state in the most detailed manner, the doctor said.
“It will improve diagnostic quality, allow for an effective management of the patient, and be a life-saving device,” Singh said in a press release.
The $750,000 donation to Red Deer Regional Health Foundation was made at the end of December and the donor chose to donate money to purchase the TEE and five new specialized treadmills, worth a total of $200,000, to replace aging equipment for stress tests.
The new equipment has been ordered.
Park said it’s not often that a donation of this amount comes from one donor and it’s especially welcome during a sluggish economy.
“It was definitely a pleasant surprise.”