More than 2,500 young cancer patients, trauma victims and children with brain and heart disease will be assessed each year using the latest three-dimensional scanning technology at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said PMH was one of the first paediatric hospitals in Australia to install a 64-slice CT (Computer Tomography) scanner to assess and treat sick children.
Mr McGinty said the $1.2million scanner would enable doctors to produce three-dimensional computer generated images of the internal organs of the body within seconds.
”Spending time in hospital can be a very daunting experience for children, especially when they have to undergo various assessments and tests,” he said.
"The old method of assessing children with trauma, cancer and brain and heart disease could take hours as doctors had to use invasive techniques to gather images of individual areas of the body.
"Using the new 3-D scanner, several areas of the body can be scanned at once, including blood vessels of the heart and brain, which doctors were unable to scan previously.
“The new high-tech device will enable doctors to assess young patients five times faster and make a more accurate diagnosis, allowing sick children to receive their treatment quicker.”
One scan produced by the 64-slice scanner can provide images of organs and soft tissue from all angles. Using the old PMH one-slice scanner, doctors could only see a two-dimensional view of specific tissues and organs.
The Minister said the new 3-D technology had already been used to diagnose 120 young patients, saving some children from exploratory surgery and improving their chances of survival.
The latest high-tech device comes on top of the State Government's recent allocation of $15million to upgrade PMH’s facilities pending its relocation from its Subiaco site to the Wellington Street Campus (North Block) of Royal Perth Hospital.
The $15million allocated in September is in addition to the $222million being spent to redevelop the North Block into a children’s hospital.
The redevelopment will include a new emergency department, a specialised paediatric intensive care unit, neonatal nursery and 10 refurbished operating theatres for paediatric surgery, double the number currently at PMH.
Mr McGinty said the additional funding to redevelop PMH was part of a total rebuild of the State’s health system.
“Our booming economy means we can invest an extra $890million to build new hospitals, upgrade existing hospitals and open an additional 800 beds,” he said.
“The Government has developed a 10-year health blueprint with a massive $3.6billion capital works program for hospitals right across the State.”
Minister's office - 9220 5000