Thanks to the generousity of the Castlegar and District Hospital Auxiliary Society, local patients will be able to receive Electoencephalography (EEG) diagnostic testing at the Castlegar Health Centre starting Feb. 5. Interior Health was able to renovate an area of the health centre to create a regional site for EEG testing thanks to the $8,500 donation from the society.
“Having this enhanced service in Castlegar will allow Interior Health to increase the number of tests done each year in the Kootenay Boundary by approximately 35 per cent,” said health minister Margaret MacDiarmid. “Physicians will be able to diagnose and treat their patients quicker.”
Before, Castlegar EEG patients would have to travel to Trail to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
“This was an opportunity for the auxiliary to help our health centre provide an enhanced service to residents from across the Kootenay Boundary and we were happy to support the project,” said Castlegar and District Hospital Auxiliary president Nettie Stupnikoff.
An EEG is used to measure brain waves and is an important tool in diagnosing epilepsy, seizures and other brain conditions. EEG can also provide valuable information to the health care team for patients with tumours, strokes, developmental delay, unexplained coma and some mental health conditions. These exams are done by highly sought after specializing technologists and are referred by a patient’s GP or a specialist physician.
“This new service is allowing us to expand the number of patients we can see here in the Kootenay and Boundary area,” said Tammy Cranston, professional practice leader for nuerodiagnostics for Castlegar and District Health Centre and Kelowna General Hospital. “In all honesty, we’ve been trying to expand the service to this area for the last four years. But it’s been the last number of months that we were able to secure some funding for renovations to the site from the Auxiliary and that’s allowed us to get the service up and running.”
Previously, EEG testing was ran through Kootenay Boundary Hospital in a space shared with cardiology.
“So when we came over to do a clinic, we would contact them, they would have to shut down their service to provide us with the space,” said Cranston. “So what this has done for the community is, not only does it allow them to run their scans on a regular basis, but it allows us to come and go as we see fit to schedule patients.”
Interior health will provide EEG testing four days every month in Castlegar for all Kootenay Boundary patients.
“Previous to that, we were running somewhere in the range of about two days every 4-6 weeks,” said Cranston. “So it has expanded our service considerably.”