A $100,000 grant from the C.C. Wilkins Estate resulted in the purchase of a new ultrasound scanner for the radiology department of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic in 2004.
Ultrasound scans are used most often to detect blockage to an artery that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
During the scan, a gel is applied to the part of the body under study. The radiology technician presses a hand-held sender-receiver unit, called a transducer to the skin and sweeps it back and forth. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves and records the waves that echo back from internal organs, fluids, and tissues. The waves are measured and displayed by a computer, which also displays the resulting image on a monitor.
The procedure is painless and usually requires no advance preparation by the patient.
In reading and interpreting ultrasound images, a radiologist can help other physicians diagnose conditions such as blockages to blood flow, narrowing of blood vessels, which may be caused by plaque, and tumors.