On Wednesday, 17 May, St Augustine’s Medical Services (SAMS) held a special blessing and launch event for its recently acquired Hyperbaric Chamber and 64-slice CT Scanner.
Managing Director & Resident Physician at SAMS, Dr Lutz Amechi, stressed the need to continue making improvements in the health sector. He stated, “historically in Grenada, the equipment we had, may have been lacking, and the cost of healthcare a challenge for both our residents and visitors. We in the healthcare sector are very cognisant of this. SAMS’ decision to invest in the country’s first hyperbaric chamber and a 64-slice CT scanner — only the 2nd of its kind in the region — is a statement that speaks to the growth and improvement of the calibre of healthcare we can now offer.”
CT scans create extremely detailed cross-sectional images by rotating around the body inside the gantry — the machine’s large doughnut-shaped opening. A CT scanner is also unique because it can display a combination of soft tissue, bones and blood vessels in a single image. The 64-slice CT scanner is even more powerful than a regular CT scanner in that it captures up to 64 simultaneous anatomical slices of 0.5 mm in a single gantry rotation. This state of the art equipment allows 3D reconstruction of the images, allowing greater detail of the scanned anatomy for diagnosis.
The CT technology allows for the performance of virtual angiographies and colonoscopies, with greater ease and comfort for screening for heart disease and colon cancer.
Present at the event, Head of Orthopaedics & Medical Director at the General Hospital, Dr Kester Dragon, praised SAMS for continually ‘raising the bar’ and particularly so with the addition of the new technology.
Dr George Mitchell, Chief Medical Officer with the Ministry of Health, added, “through partnerships, such as this one with St Augustine’s Medical Services, more can be accomplished and achieved as it relates to healthcare in the island.” He echoed Dr Amechi’s sentiments that “the Government cannot do everything which may need to be done, alone.”
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon Clarice Modeste-Curwen highlighted the benefits that the acquisition of the hyperbaric equipment will provide for support of Grenada’s growing dive tourism sector and resident fisherfolk. She said that “government is extremely proud to be part of such an important project. One of the government’s key roles is to build public/ private partnerships, for the overall benefit of the country and our people. Dr Amechi and SAMS are commended for their constant positive additions to the healthcare landscape over the 19 years they have been established.”
Both the CT scanner and hyperbaric chamber are now in fully functional use at SAMS The hyperbaric chamber is a multi-place chamber, which allows for treatment of more than 1 patient at a time It is used for treating a number of medical ailments such as diabetic foot ulcers, burns, compromised skin grafts, bone infections, gangrene and ischemic strokes, but may be most commonly known for treating ‘the bends,’ associated with diving mishaps.