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CT scanner launched at Letterkenny hospital

A NEW CT scanner was officially launched at Letterkenny University Hospital today after it was donated by the Friends of the Hospital.

The new CT scanner – which is a second scanner for the hospital – cost €461,250 and the funds were raised entirely through a range of planned fundraising events such as golf classics, table quizzes, bag packing, church gate collections, corporate balls, draws for Easter and Christmas hampers plus other events and unsolicited donations.

Speaking at the official launch, Peter Cutliffe, Chairman for the Friends of Letterkenny University Hospital said, “The aim of the Friends is to provide seed capital to kick start new developments and to act as a vehicle for the local community to have an input into and a sense of ownership of our local hospital. We agree each major fundraising initiative with hospital management to address the service needs of the patients at the hospital.

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Letterkenny University Hospital is an approved centre for cancer services and CT scanning is central to diagnosing a range of cancer diseases. Hospital management recognised that the demands on the existing CT scanner were growing and in the absence of any available capital funding, approached the Friends for assistance to obtain a second scanner.

The Friends were glad to accept the challenge to fundraise for the scanner and already the benefits of having a second CT scanner are being seen. With the second CT scanner, the hospital has been able to provide an uninterrupted CT diagnostic service during the construction of the new Radiology Department.”

The new CT scanner has been in use in the hospital since February when the existing CT scanner was decommissioned as part of the Radiology Department building works. The new Radiology Department is due to be completed by April next year and both CT scanners will then be operational.

Seán Murphy, General Manager, Letterkenny University Hospital spoke of the significance of the donation by the Friends. He said, “It is an incredible achievement by any group of volunteers to raise enough money to buy a CT scanner. It demonstrates the generosity of the people of Donegal and their support for our hospital, patients and staff.

We are extremely grateful to the Friends of Letterkenny University Hospital for providing the hospital with a second scanner and for their on-going support. And I would also like to acknowledge the people in Donegal who supported all the fundraising events which were organised to raise the funds.

Over 10,000 patients have had CT scans so far this year. In addition to being a valuable diagnostic tool for many different types of cancer, the CT scanner is also utilised in the diagnosis and imaging of stroke and respiratory diseases. CT scanning is used in emergency medicine as it provides fast imaging and diagnosis of any internal and bone injuries from road traffic accidents or other trauma. The CT scanner is available 24/7 and is staffed by our radiology team here in LUH.

When the new Radiology Department is opened next year we will have two CT scanners. This will give us the option to introduce additional CT based diagnostic investigations subject to budget resources being made available to the hospital.”

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