Ultrasound now available in Masset

  • Apr. 3, 2009 7:00 p.m.

Going for an ultrasound just got a whole lot easier and cheaper, now that Haida Gwaii has an on-island facility. Islanders used to spend an estimated $65,000 a year going off-island for ultrasound tests, according to a study undertaken by student researcher David Creighton. “Island residents needing diagnostic ultrasound has to travel by air or ferry at great expense to Prince Rupert, Terrace or Vancouver,” he said. Now, thanks to funding from three bodies, the Gwaii Trust, Hospital Days and Northern Health, who each contributed $25,000, a portable ultrasound was purchased for the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital in Masset. Having the machine on the islands will save 140 residents from having to travel to receive the diagnostic service. The unit will operate on two to four scheduled days each month. Scans are performed in Masset and sent electronically via Northern Health’s Picture Archive and Communications System for reading by either Prince Rupert or Prince George radiologists. The tool is used to examine soft tissue structures, including obstetrical images and heart examinations.