New heart machine revolution Sheppie Hospital

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By Yachika Sewparsad-Mahadev

The arrival of the new echocardiography machine at the Port Shepstone Regional Hospital is a major delivery boost for those wanting heart checkups.

The new echo machine at the hospital replaces an old, non-functional and outdated model. It is expected to significantly reduce the backlog of patients who need this service. Port Shepstone Hospital is the only facility in the Ugu District offering the echocardiographic service to patients.

Echocardiography is the use of an ultrasound to examine the heart. “It is powerful, non-evasive and a safe technique which has become widely available to cardiac investigation,” Port Shepstone Regional Hospital spokesperson, Phumza Morai said. “It also provides a great deal of structural and functional information abut the heart.”

The new machine brings along many benefits, including;

  • Improve image quality that will result in an optimal service being offered to patients;
  • Improved diagnosis and confirmation of cardiac disease which will result in the patient receiving the correct medical/ surgical therapy;
  • Reduced scanning time per patient, which will result in a shorter waiting period for patients, and an increased number of echo tests being performed per day.
  • The new echo machine eliminates the need for travel to Durban to diagnose or exclude heart disease, which is much more convenient for the patient.

Echocardiograms are performed on a broad spectrum of patients, such as post heart attack, rheumatic heart disease, pre- and post-operative assessments and even to diagnose cases of TB. Patients in Cardiac Care Unit, Intensive Care Unit, Ante-Natal and Labour Wards are prioritised to use this machine.

Clinical Technologist uses specialised procedures and sophisticated apparatus to diagnose and help with corrective treatments for patients. “The team the PSRH is made up of Ms Shahista Omar and Ms Kerusha Govender who specialise in Cardiology, which involves the use of specialised equipment to diagnose heart disease,” Ms Morai said.

They both graduated with a National Diploma in Clinical Technology (Cardiology) at the Durban University of Technology in 2014. Their training was conducted at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital. Both are trained in both Invasive and Non-Invasive Cardiac procedures.

Non-invasive procedures that are performed at the hospital include: echocardiography, electrocardiography, exercise stress testing, 24hour holter (ECG) monitoring, and lung fucntion testing.

Since taking up their posts at Port Shepstone Regional Hospital in 2016, both Ms Omar and Ms Govender have subsequently attained their B-Tech degree in 2016, and are curretly working towards their Master’s Degrees.

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