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Portable ultrasound now at Portage’s hospital

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The Portage District General Hospital is now operating the same type of portable ultrasound machine used by troops in Afghanistan.

“It was originally designed for the battlefield. It’s what our guys use in Afghanistan,” said Clarence Merrigan, clinical applications specialist for SonoSite, the Seattle company with national headquarters just outside Toronto that makes the ultrasound and other medical equipment.

The hospital had an ultrasound machine already, but Dr. Jim Price pointed out it is “delicate” and not portable, whereas the new ultrasound is portable and “robust”.

“This machine is actually made for emergency departments, and it will get knocked around,” said Price, who works at the 89 bed hospital that serves a population of 50,000, according to its website.

The machine became available for use by emergency room doctors Thursday and is expected to make procedures safer and more efficient.

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