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New ultrasound equipment is a game changer for Clinic

September 7, 2023
By Boca Grande Health Clinic

Thanks to the generosity of MaryLee and Jack Hollis, Boca Grande Health Clinic patients now get faster diagnoses without having to leave the island. A gift from the Hollis family provided the means to acquire a Clarius HD3 portable ultrasound machine.

Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, is a crucial diagnostic tool in modern medicine. It uses sound waves to create images of internal organs, vessels and tissues, aiding in early diagnosis and efficient treatment of numerous conditions.

“This new equipment allows us to diagnose and treat conditions faster and with greater precision,” said Radiologic Technologist Andrew Colburn at the Clinic. “It’s another tool we can use to help diagnose onsite and treat patients immediately, significantly improving patient outcomes.” Andrew joined the Clinic about a year ago, bringing the expertise needed to provide imaging services, starting with X-rays.

The size of a man’s wallet, the Clarius is a hand-held device that provides high-definition ultrasound literally in the palm of your hand. “The equipment is wireless and mobile, an added advantage that allows Dr. James and I to take it on house calls when patients are too weak to come to the office,” said Andrew. 

Clinic Medical Director Raymond A. James, D.O., and Andrew recently completed additional training in St. Petersburg to ensure they were well-prepared to use this specific ultrasound equipment. Andrew had prior ultrasound experience, having worked with various imaging equipment at a Punta Gorda hospital prior to joining the Clinic.

It didn’t take long before the new ultrasound equipment was put into action. “We’ve done several ultrasounds already, one for a patient who came in with a lower leg muscle tear that would have required an appointment and a drive to be seen off the island,” Andrew explained.

The device can help visualize stones in gall bladders, assess the size, shape, texture and vascularity of the spleen (which provides indications of liver disease), and detect changes in the size of your aorta, the largest artery of the body that carries blood from the heart to the circulatory system.

“We can also see blood clots in a patient’s legs, and clots that could lead to heart attacks or strokes,” said Andrew, “cardiac situations where time is of the essence and a quick result can be life-saving.”

The addition of ultrasound imaging services is an investment in the health and well-being of our community, providing even greater peace of mind that comes from 24/7, year-round access to quality healthcare.