Hi-tech medical equipment for a government hospital

Tamil Nadu health minister Ma Subramanian inaugurated an ultrasound colour doppler (UCD) and fully-automated biochemistry machines donated by RC Madras Central (RCMC), RID 3232, to the Omandurar Government Hospital, Chennai. “We have a long queue of patients waiting for diagnosis,” says Dr Sowmya Shanmugam, from the Radiology department, as doctors started using the new equipment immediately.

Shobana waiting at the palliative care unit with nurse Ramuthai.
Shobana waiting at the palliative care unit with nurse Ramuthai.

Rotating the UCD probe over the shoulder and chest of a 50-year-old patient, she pointed at a coloured spot on the ultrasound screen and confirmed restricted blood flow in the region. “Not only does this machine detect and determine the direction and velocity of the blood flow in various organs, but it is safe, cost-effective, portable, and highly accurate. It replaces expensive and invasive modalities like angiography,” she says.

Clad in a blue patient’s gown, carrying her IV push chemo drip in her hands, 23-year-old Shobana, a leukemia patient, peeps into the room where the new UCD is placed to “get a glimpse of the machine that can help in my treatment,” she smiles. Nurse Ramuthai tells me later, “Shobana’s cancer has no cure and she has only a few years left. With the help of the new machine, we can understand the reason for her pain and instantly administer an injection to relieve it. Because the machine is mobile, our work in shifting patients like her from one place to another for tests will also be reduced.”

Not only does this machine detect and determine the direction and velocity of the blood flow in various organs, but it is safe, cost-effective, portable, and highly accurate. It replaces expensive and invasive modalities like angiography.

Placing samples inside the machine for tests, Dr R Shanthi, head of the Biochemistry department, is especially “thrilled to work with the Automated Biochemistry Analyser.” She explains: “Ours is a 400-bed government-owned super-specialty hospital. We can now perform multiple tests (nearly 200 samples for different diagnosis) on a single platform, cut down on time-consuming testing and analytical processes and get reliable diagnostic information. Of course, increasing medical assets come with additional requirements of reporting and maintaining quality care. But we are ready for the challenge.”

At the press conference, health minister Subramanian requested the club to “keep up the good work and help us develop the community. This gift of advanced medical equipment will benefit countless needy patients.”

The hi-tech machines “came at a cost of `23 lakh, which was supported by global grant (GG), for which the partners were RCs Karachi (3271), Hills Kellyville (9685), Nipigon (5580), Medicine Hat (5360), Cataraqui Kingston (7040), a direct gift of $18,741 by club member PDG Abirami Ramanathan and a DDF of $3,000,” says Dr P Srinivasan past president of the club. He, along with club members S R Balakrishnan, Vinod Saraogi and AG Balaji, began work on this GG “after Ramanathan had visited the hospital earlier this year for the inauguration of some other medical equipment and the hospital dean requested him for this particular equipment. We approached DG J Sridhar and he supported us with the DDF.”

From left: Gopinath, S R Balakrishnan, Omandurar Government Hospital Dean Dr R Jayanthi, Nallammai Ramanathan, Dr Kumar, Dr Shanthi, Harishkumar, DRFC Ambalavanan M, Raghav Rao, PDG Abirami Ramanathan, Dr P Srinivasan, Vinod Saraogi and Suryanarayana Rao.
From left: Gopinath, S R Balakrishnan, Omandurar Government Hospital Dean Dr R Jayanthi, Nallammai Ramanathan, Dr Kumar, Dr Shanthi, Harishkumar, DRFC Ambalavanan M, Raghav Rao, PDG Abirami Ramanathan, Dr P Srinivasan, Vinod Saraogi and Suryanarayana Rao.

Saying that “we have given you what you asked for and our job here is done,” PDG Ramanathan asked the dean to “ensure that the machines are used only for the underprivileged. No poor person should be prevented from receiving quality healthcare for lack of money,” he added.

Dr Jayanthi added that most, “if not all our patients are daily wage workers, housemaids and people from an extremely poor background who cannot afford quality healthcare. We are extremely grateful to RCMC for providing this generous gift.” She added another request, a radiofrequency ablation machine; “the addition of this equipment will make our palliative care unit complete and comprehensive.” To which Ramanathan said “We will get it for you. Get ready to organise another inauguration event soon.”

 

Pictures: Kiran Zehra

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