HEART patients needing an echocardiogram in FNQ, will now be seen quicker, thanks to hundreds of cyclists.
A new echocardiogram machine was bought from funds raised during the 2018 Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
Cairns Hospital consultant cardiologist Dr Willis Lam said it is an additional machine, meaning more people can be tested, shortening wait times for in and outpatients.
“In addition, we’re getting another sonographer soon so all the machines will be working all the time,” Dr Lam said.
The echocardiogram detects arrhythmia and blockages, and is a vital diagnostic tool, with its images then used by interventional and surgical cardiologists when life-saving procedures are performed.
“The images we give them from the echocardiogram are used by clinicians before and during procedures, so they have a really clear picture of what they are dealing with, and what part of the heart needs to be addressed,” Dr Lam said.
“The new echocardiogram bought by the Cardiac Challenge has better technology, much better resolution images and is more user friendly. It also is used for when trans-oesophageal ultrasound is performed.”
Dr Lam was named best presenter at the recent Hong Kong College of Cardiology conference, for research he presented about MRI studies of cardiac patients in the Far North. “We studied 65 patients who had elevated heart attack markers and chest pain, but no indicators of a heart attack on an angiogram. We found that in a third of them, the pain was caused by muscle inflammation, 20 per cent had had a small heart attack and 12 per cent of them had heart muscle disease.
“Importantly, the treatment was altered in 85 per cent of those patients, as a result of the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) results,” Dr Lam said.
Dr Lam is signed up to ride in this year’s Cardiac Challenge and is excited about the adventure. “The ride has contributed so much to the department before I joined, and I am excited to do my bit to see how the money has been raised, and see what the riders go through,” Dr Lam said.
People can donate to his fundraising efforts HERE.
Funds raised from this year’s Mt Franklin Cardiac Challenge will go towards a paediatric cardiac ultrasound and a respiratory ultrasound.