new CT scanner with Ingrid Zemlo Ron Stark
Senior CT Technologists Ingrid Zemlo and Ron Stark

Donors helping to save lives in the Emergency Department

Every day in Michael Garron Hospital’s Stavro Emergency Department, an average of 213 patients are seen—nearly 78,000 a year—and the number continues to grow. For many of these patients, every second counts.

Our emergency physicians order close to 10,000 CT scans each year. Until now, porters have had to move emergency patients who require these scans to our busy Diagnostic Imaging Department—where our radiologists perform more than 15,000 scans each year, and then back to Emergency for care.

Now medical staff at MGH can save valuable time in assessing and treating critically ill or injured patients through diagnostic imaging when and where they need it most—right in the Emergency Department.

Treatment at point of care

The first of two new CT scanners was recently installed in a dedicated room in our Emergency Department. Purchased with funds from Berna and Myron Garron's $50-million gift, the new scanner allows us to provide vital assessment and treatment at the point of care.

“We’re very proud to be one of the few community hospitals in Ontario to have CT scanning capability right in our Emergency Department,” says Kevin Edmonson, Director, Diagnostic Imaging and Emergency Department at Michael Garron Hospital.

The room housing the new CT scanner was torn down to its studs and completely rebuilt with lead-lined walls and a new floor.

“We now have a dedicated HVAC system in the CT scanner room so the temperature remains consistent—it’s much more comfortable for our patients,” says Kevin. “In our old scanner room, the temperature could sometimes fluctuate between 7-10 degrees.”

The difference between life and death

CT scanning is a crucial tool—not just for patient diagnosis, but for treatment and outcomes as well. The new top-tier scanners have technological advancements that result in even better patient care. This means significantly sharper images to accurately diagnose and monitor disease, faster scan time, and a 40% lower radiation dose.

Safer, more efficient imaging can truly mean the difference between life and death for many patients.

“Just recently, we found a cancerous tumour in a 7-year old patient using this new scanner,” says Ingrid Zemlo, Senior CT Technologist at Michael Garron Hospital. “For a patient like this who will have many more scans in their future, the lifetime radiation dose they receive from this machine will be significantly lower than our old machinery.""The parents of this child and so many others are incredibly grateful to the Garrons for purchasing this scanner—this truly is life-changing technology,” says Ingrid.

New location improves patient experience

Locating one of the two new CT scanners in the Emergency Department will not only help our physicians get patients to lifesaving equipment more quickly, it will also help us separate the flow of in- and outpatients. ICU patients will now also have direct access to the scanner from the ICU area, rather than being transported via public corridor—a much improved patient experience.

The CT scanner is now in use 7 days a week, from 7 am until midnight. The two new scanners will replace our aging machinery which will be decommissioned once the two scanners are fully functional.

It’s a generous gift our staff is very grateful for. 

"Thanks to the vision and generosity of our donors, we can significantly elevate our diagnostic imaging capabilities and improve patient care by identifying issues earlier and intervening sooner," says Kevin.