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New Sonogram Arrives at Monongahela Valley Hospital ED

Sonogram at Monongahela Valley Hospital ED

Brenda Walther, M.D., (center) demonstrates how to use MVH's new portable sonogram to visualize major blood vessels in the neck to more safely place a central IV catheter into the neck vein. Student nurse intern Dawn Triscik of Monongahela is being examined, far left, and Kelly Macheska, RN, far right, assists.
Thanks to the generosity of The Auxiliary of Mon-Vale Health Resources, Inc., Monongahela Valley Hospital's Emergency Department just received a state-of-the-art piece of equipment to better serve patients - a new portable bedside sonogram unit.

"This is the latest model and represents the standard in emergency medical practice," said Brenda Walther, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department (ED). "It will allow our doctors and nurses to do rapid assessment of trauma patients and could even potentially decrease the need to transfer patients out of the community to a trauma center."

The equipment is called a SonoSite M-Turbo. ED Director Kelly Macheska, R.N., said that focused ultrasound examinations provide immediate information and can answer specific questions about patients' conditions as well as assist with difficult procedures involving deep needle entry.

To the untrained eye, the new machine could be mistaken for a computer laptop sitting waist high atop a rolling IV stand. It weights less than seven pounds. The unit can be easily rolled to a patient's bedside and fits easily into tight spaces filled with multiple medical staff members.

"The portable ultrasound will help reduce transfers, further increase patient safety and decrease infection rates," Macheska said. "It will really make a difference for our individual patients when we can get a quick read and determine if theirs is a trauma situation."

Macheska said the main clinical conditions that could benefit from the new portable ultrasound include ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, central line placement, deep peripheral vein line placement, abdominal aortic aneurysm (weakened area of the body's largest blood vessel) and thoracoabdominal (chest and abdomen) trauma.

"The MVH Emergency Department is already state-of-the-art, and this equipment has been on the ED wish list with its ability to provide an extra level of care," said Dr. Walther. She added that this equipment will also help MVH attract and retain other talented physicians, who are using the portable tool in their training programs.

"I can appreciate how important this gift is to the ED," said Ruth Antonelli, president of the Auxiliary and a licensed nurse. "I worked in a small ED in W.Va. smaller than MVH, and the faster you can help to diagnose patients or rule things out, the better."

"As an independent hospital in the midst of fundraising for our substantial building projects, we appreciate these generous donations," said Louis J. Panza, president and CEO of MVH. "We are very proud of - and amazed by - how hard our auxiliary members work all year to help us improve patient care."

The auxiliary has donated more than $3 million to Monongahela Valley Hospital in the last 33 years.

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