Calmette Gets New Equipment

Head injury victims can now be more quickly diagnosed and treated at Calmette Hospital thanks to the donation of a computerized scanner from France.

The scanner represents a $350,000 donation meant to help the hospital provide free quality care to the poor, said Patrice Bonnal, first secretary of the French Embassy.

The equipment is especially welcome at Calmette, which sees a large number of head injuries from traffic accidents, said Claude Dumurgier, a surgeon and consultant to the hospital.

A cerebral hematoma, or bruising of the brain, can destroy the brain and lead to coma, unless the blood is drained and the hemorrhage stopped right away, said Calmette Director Heng Tay Kry.

Dumurgier also said the scanner, which is shaped like a barrel and produces images from all angles of the patient’s body, is es­sen­tial for diagnosing strokes.

Dr Kong Sonya, who has just completed a three-year residency working with similar scanners at the Tours University/Hospital Center in France, has been as­signed to the Calmette’s ma­chine, said Heng Tay Kry.

People who are financially capable of paying for scan will be charged between $90 to $140, he said. It will be free for other Cambodians, Heng Tay Kry said.

The two scanners at Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals have proven invaluable in treating tuberculosis, Director Beat Rich­ner said.

Calcification in children’s lungs cannot be detected with traditional X-ray equipment if it is smaller than 3 mm in size, he said. Since about half of the patients hospitalized are tuberculosis cases, the scanners at both Kantha Bopha II in Phnom Penh and the one at Jayavarman VII in Siem Reap are regularly used, Richner said.

Kantha Bopha’s doctors who run and interpret scans have been trained in Cambodia by Swiss doctors from the Zurich Children’s University Hospital, he said.


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