New CT scanner for Jersey heart patients

Image of heart from 3D scanner
Image caption The new machine gives a 3D image of a patient's heart

Jersey heart patients will no longer have to go to the UK for tests after a new CT scanner was fitted at the General Hospital.

Until now, patients had to go to the UK for a coronary angiogram, a more invasive procedure where tubes were inserted into their heart arteries.

The Health Department said the new scanner gives a 3D reconstruction of the heart arteries in a procedure that takes less than 15 minutes.

It said it will save money and lives.

Dr Andrew Mitchell, consultant cardiologist, said: "The image quality of the new scanner is amazing and for the first time allows us to look inside patients' heart arteries with incredible resolution."

A 63-year-old retired air-traffic controller, Jim Buckley was one of the first patients to use the new scanner after a routine medical with his GP found his heart trace was slightly abnormal.

The scan showed there was a tight blockage in the left heart artery and Mr Buckley was sent to Oxford for urgent balloon and stent treatment to the narrowed artery.

Dr Mitchell said: "Mr Buckley was a keen runner and it is entirely possible that without this test and treatment he would have suffered a fatal heart attack."

Dr Chris Hare, director of radiology, said: "Our new CT scanner is being used for patients with suspected coronary artery narrowing and will hopefully reduce the need for patients to travel off-island for more invasive and expensive tests."

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