Hospitals board to offer heart CT scans
New hi-tech computerised heart scans will help cut the risk of heart disease, the Bermuda Hospitals Board has said.
The scans can detect calcium deposits and other obstructions in blood vessels, which can lead to blockages and heart problems.
Joseph Yammine, BHB consultant cardiologist and director of the programme and Anders Hauggaard, a consultant radiologist who has used the technology in previous posts in Sweden and the Arabian Gulf, set up the programme.
A joint statement from Dr Yammine and Dr Hauggaard said: “This programme, where we provide calcium scoring for cardiac risk screening and coronary angiography for assessment of coronary disease and overall heart conditions, is of great value to the community.
“It is particularly important because Bermuda does not have a cardiac catheterisation laboratory.
“This programme offers an alternative in many cases to surgery to get a clear picture of the state of the vessels in and around the heart and may result in less referrals to facilities overseas.”
The new tests available are CT angiography and cardiac calcium scoring.
In CT angiography, 3D images of arteries that supply blood to the heart are taken with a CT scanner.
The test can help diagnose the cause of chest pain and may indicate blockages in these vessels and conditions like atherosclerosis — fatty deposits in blood vessels.
The programme started earlier this month to coincide with Heart Month and about 15 people have used the service so far.
Radiology technicians with special training and experienced nurses perform the tests under the supervision of a doctor.
Sam Mir, BHB director of cardiology, said: “This programme can be a significant benefit to improve the care of our cardiac patients in Bermuda where heart disease remains the No 1 killer.”
Daniel Stovell, BHB chief of radiology, said: “This testing is carried out with minimal exposure to radiation.
“We have paid close attention to this and are pleased with the achievement in the pilot phase of the programme which took place earlier this month.”