Donation jump-starts EEG service at HSA

| 27/01/2017
CNS Local Life

Dr Earl Robinson demonstrates EEG machine

(CNS Local Life): The Health Services Authority (HSA) has resumed electroencephalogram (EEG) testing at the Cayman Islands Hospital after a donation facilitated by a local family. The EEG is a safe diagnostic test which records and detects abnormalities in the electrical activity of the brain. Identifying a need for this service, the Billes family raised approximately $18,000 with the assistance of several community members to purchase the EEG machine, which was installed 10 January.

Family member Deirdre Billes said of the fundraising effort, “I would like to say thank you to those who contributed to this EEG donation back in November 2011, when I ran the Cayman Islands marathon and raised $1575, under the name ‘Project Brainstorm’. Your contributions to my request to raise money helped to bring this project to fruition.”

The portable, computer-based Neurovirtual BW11 EEG can be used in the outpatient clinic as well as on the inpatient units throughout the hospital.

The machine will aid investigation of patients from newborns to the elderly, who are suffering with seizures, head injuries or brain tumors, or in other instances where brain function needs to be assessed.

Head of the paediatric department Dr Earl Robinson explained how the machine works. “Nerve cells of the brain are constantly producing electric signals which are then transmitted throughout the body,” he said. “The electrodes of the EEG machine are affixed to the scalp and pick up these electric signals. The signals are then amplified, making them big enough to be displayed. The wave activity can then be stored on the computer, printed on paper, burnt on CD-ROM or even transmitted as a file remotely for reading/interpretation.

“The brain waves vary in different mind states (alertness, rest, sleep, dreaming) and different parts of the brain are stimulated during various activities (eg eye blinking, thinking, reading, watching TV). By observing and studying these wave patterns, the doctor can pick up any abnormal brain activity that can help him diagnose underlying conditions and therefore be in a better position to treat or manage appropriately,” he added.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood thanked the Billes family for their generous donation, saying it reflected their confidence in the hospital’s efforts in delivering “first-class medical service for the people of these islands”. She added, “Their donation will help our team to provide an improved service to our patients.”

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Category: Medical and Health

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