St Gabriels Healthcare Foundation

Seeing a safer diagnosis:

New ultrasound machine benefits area patients

“It’s just all that holiday snacking,” thought Trish Bode when her 9-year-old son Wyatt complained of a dull ache in his stomach just before Christmas. The boy didn’t have a fever or any vomiting, and the pain soon disappeared, so the Bode family assumed that all was well. But when the mild pain returned a week later, just before the new year, Trish decided to take Wyatt to the doctor, who directed the family to head straight over to the St. Gabriel’s Hospital emergency services department.

Spotting the Problem

The emergency team examined Wyatt and quickly took a blood test to try to pinpoint the cause of his discomfort. The results showed a very high white blood cell count, a possible indication of a problem with his appendix. To verify that the young boy had appendicitis and needed immediate surgery, the St. Gabriel’s team chose to have Wyatt undergo an ultrasound to visualize the appendix. A CT scan was the “back-up plan.” “Both of these modalities can help us to diagnose appendicitis, but we chose ultrasound because we wanted to first use the safest modality available for Wyatt,” says Clint MacKinney, MD, St. Gabriel’s emergency physician.

Literally a Lifesaver
The ultrasound confirmed the suspected diagnosis of appendicitis, which meant Wyatt had to go immediately into surgery to have his inflamed appendix removed. “Our advanced ultrasound capabilities can literally be a lifesaver for patients who come in with serious internal conditions such as abdominal trauma or ectopic pregnancy because it helps us make timely and accurate diagnoses,” says Dr. MacKinney. Wyatt’s surgery was a complete success. Seeing a safer diagnosis: New ultrasound machine benefits area patients “During his operation, the doctors discovered that instead of going outward, his appendix was going inward and his organs were cushioning it, making the symptoms less painful than they normally are with appendicitis,” says Trish. “Quick diagnosis was important because if his appendix had burst, it would have been very serious. We are so happy that the doctors at St. Gabriel’s pursued Wyatt’s symptoms and used the safer option of ultrasound to confirm his condition. He is back to his old self now, and for that we are grateful.” When Wyatt Bode came to the St. Gabriel's emergency department with a high white cell count, appendicitis was suspected. An ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis.

Diagnostics and You
To have an imaging test done at St. Gabriel’s Hospital, discuss it with your doctor.
He or she will give you a provider’s order.
Then call Central Scheduling at 320-631-5000 to schedule your test.

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