Vital Signs Appeal 2014

Personal Care…Close to Home is the theme for this year’s Vital Signs appeal for the Prince County Hospital Foundation.  The areas of greatest need at the Prince County Hospital (PCH) vary but each has one thing in common – they are essential to providing the quality health care that Islanders need.  Many pieces of equipment that were purchased when the “new” PCH opened ten years ago are now in need of replacement or have already been replaced.  In order to address the need for new technology and to keep pace with industry standards, the revitalization of the Diagnostic Imaging Unit (DI) at PCH began in 2013.  Earlier this year, thanks to community donations in 2013, the unit was able to create a dual purpose room outfitted with a new portable x-ray unit, as well as a new fluoroscopy machine at cost of $770,000.  This year, in order to provide the best care for patients, $1,250,453 is needed to equip the Prince County Hospital.

This large goal again includes great needs in DI like the three ultrasound machines that were urgently needed and have been replaced at a cost of $510,000.  “Most people would recognize this technology for its use during pregnancy, but ultrasound is used for many things at PCH each day ranging from aneurysm detection to locating gallstones, blood clots, and tumours,” says PCH Ultrasonographer LaKrisha Evans.  Medical sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real time images. Ultrasound has been used by radiologists and sonographers to image the hu¬man body for at least 50 years and has become a widely used diag¬nostic tool. 

The new ultrasound machines will provide advantages for both the patient and the ultrasonographers.  The faster and more ergonomic machine is 100 pounds lighter, is fully adjustable for height of the user at the touch of a button, and takes less time to send images.  “It means we can see better and quicker,” says Ultrasonographer Meaghan Noye.  “There is more information and better image quality.”  Overall, this means the radiologist who ultimately reads the image for diagnosis has better images with which to work.

Though incredibly important, new ultrasound machines are not the only need at PCH this year.  The are a host of other pieces that are imperative to patient care including bili lights and bili blankets to treat infants with jaundice ($18,800),  two hemodialysis machines for the Dialysis Unit ($46,000), and replacement beds and mattresses in Nursing Care ($20,000).

“When we are talking about saving lives at PCH, every dollar counts,” says PCH Foundation president Gordon Coffin.  “We hope to count on our caring communities again this year as we strive to reach our goal.  It is their generosity that will ensure a healthy future for the families, friends and neighbours from across our province that rely on PCH everyday.”

Donor packages for the Vital Signs appeal will be mailed soon. You can also give securely online at or call (902) 432-2547 to help the PCH Foundation purchase much needed equipment this year.