Patients on the North Coast will no longer have to travel to Kitimat for an important medical treatment thanks to years of fundraising by the North Coast Health Improvement Society,
The volunteer group successfully raised $125,000 to purchase a bone mass density scanner for the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, which is now fully operational on the second floor. The equipment was delivered in November and, following the training of two technicians on the use of the machine, scans were offered in late December.
A bone mass density scanner provides medical professionals with an indication of the likelihood of significant fracture due to bone loss by measuring bone mineral density and helps determine whether therapy or continued surveillance is needed. . People needing chemotherapy treatment need constant monitoring and testing to ensure the treatment is not depleting bone strength, while those with family history of osteoporosis and those experiencing early menopause are recommended to have scans.
Prior to the equipment arriving, people in Prince Rupert were required to drive over 400 kilometres round-trip to the Kitimat hospital, while those on Haida Gwaii would require a multi-day trip to have the scan done. While some will still have to travel due to previous appointments, manager of medical imaging Lorestta Robinson said she expects the use of the machine to pick up significantly once the ability to have a bone mass density scan done in Prince Rupert becomes more widely known.