Geoffrey Martin, M.D.
PINEHURST – When most people think of ultrasound, they probably think in terms of the tests conducted in an obstetrician’s office to monitor fetal growth and of images so clear that a baby’s sex can be determined during the early weeks of a pregnancy.
But ultrasound has a variety of uses – from the assessment of tendons, muscles, nerves, ligaments, soft tissue masses and bone surfaces to the lung cancer stagings that can eliminate the need for major surgery.
Emergency medicine has especially come to rely on ultrasound technology in patient care. “Many physicians use ultrasound as an extension of their hand and stethoscope today,” says Geoffrey Martin, M.D., assistant medical director of the Emergency Department at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
The Foundation of FirstHealth recently approved a disbursement of $37,499 for the purchase of new portable ultrasound equipment for Moore Regional’s Emergency Department. The Sonosite ultrasound machine replaces equipment that is nearing the end of its service life.
Because the hand-carried point-of-care machine is much smaller than a traditional cart-based ultrasound system, it can be moved from bedside to bedside for convenient use in such procedures as central line placement and IV access and to speed up the care of patients with traumatic injury or the abdominal pain caused by gallstones or gallbladder blockage.
According to Dr. Martin, who is board certified in emergency medicine, emergency residency programs now make it standard practice to train new physicians in ultrasound use for the quick assessment, diagnosis and treatment of emergency conditions that are often time-critical.
“What previously has taken hours can now be done in minutes with greater safety than ever before,” he says. “Complications like collapsed lung and bowel injury have all but disappeared in the hands of experienced ultrasound-trained physicians.”
Fifteen years ago, The Foundation designated funds specifically to empower clinicians and service area providers to champion new and innovative ways to improve patient care.
“This grant for point-of-care ultrasound is another example of how The Foundation invests this community’s financial support in state-of-the-art technology that directly benefits our patients,” says David Christaldi, Foundation Board chair.
“It’s a story that can be told time and time again. Because of the overwhelming generosity of the people of this community, The Foundation has been able to invest millions of philanthropic dollars in bricks and mortar and in equipment and technology. This ongoing financial commitment has enabled FirstHealth to grow into one of the top health care systems in the country, providing, ‘big city medicine’ right here at home.”
For more information on how to support The Foundation of FirstHealth, please call (910) 695-7500.