Hospital seeks new equipment

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Several equipment purchases are up for approval at Wednesday night's meeting of The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Board members will have the opportunity to approve the purchase of:

a replacement mammography machine

a blood warmer for surgery

cardiac rehab program software

a phlebotomy work station for the medical laboratory

A new mammography unit must be purchased because the hospital's current machine is 12 years old, said TMH administrator Randy Phelps.

"Technology has advanced," he said. "In October the old machine would no longer meet Medicare standards."

The 2002 budget allowed $120,000 for the purchase of a new mammography unit.

The unit up for purchase approval Wednesday night is a Siemens Mammomat 3000 Nova, which costs $95,521, more than $20,000 under budget, according to hospital documents.

A significantly cheaper piece of equipment with considerable importance is a new blood warmer for surgery, Phelps said.

The reason a blood warmer is necessary is blood is stored in the cold and must be warmed before being injected into a person's body.

"If a patient needed blood fast giving them cold blood could actually kill them," he said. "This machine enables us to warm blood in the fusion process."

The hospital's current blood warmer broke about two weeks ago.

The unit is no longer in distribution and the parts necessary to fix it are no longer sold, which is why the surgery department has requested the purchase of a new device.

The new blood warmer would cost $1,100.

In other business Wednesday night the board will:

consider a revised "Patient Rights and Responsibility"

policy.

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