(Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash)

Nuclear medicine temporarily suspended at KBRH

Upgrades expected to be in service by end of September

Anyone in the Trail area needing a nuclear medicine test, such as a diagnostic bone scan or “HIDA” scan of the gallbladder, will have to travel to Penticton Regional Hospital, or alternate facilities, for the next four months.

That’s because work to update nuclear medicine technology at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) began Monday, temporarily suspending respective testing for about 15 weeks.

A “SPECT CT” camera will replace the old imaging device. The new equipment will furnish better pictures, and provide a back up for emergency CT scans if the primary CT scanner at KBRH is unavailable due to regular upgrades or repairs.

Other medical imaging will not be impacted, such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI.

“Patients should discuss their specific imaging needs with their family physician or specialist. Alternate imaging like CT or ultrasound may be an alternative in some cases,” Interior Health advised in a Monday news brief.

“Interior Health recognizes this is an inconvenience to these patients and appreciates their patience and understanding as we make these important improvements to medical imaging for Kootenay Boundary patients.”

Redeveloping this KBRH department is part of a $1.63 million project, funded by the Province of B.C., Interior Health, and the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District.

Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body.

Nuclear medicine is rarely used as an emergency medical imaging tool.

Read more: Board green-lights $15 million for KBRH

Read more: KBRH addresses construction woes



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