50/50 Hospital Lottery players provided funding for a new mini C-arm!

Equipment upgrades like this provide patients with the best outcomes possible.

A C-arm is a type of X-ray machine that allows surgeons to evaluate bones in “real time” rather than as a still picture, which is what an X-ray is. With a C-arm, it’s like taking video of a patient’s anatomy, rather than just a snapshot – right within the operating suite during surgery!

A mini C-arm is a smaller and more mobile version of a C-arm and is used on smaller body parts. It does not have the radiation strength of a larger sized C-arm and this means that it is safer for patients. At Guelph General, the mini C-arm is used to help treat fractures or dislocations of wrists and hands, ankles and feet. It can also be helpful in finding that piece of glass a patient stepped on!

As trauma surgery is evolving, orthopaedic surgeons are trying to make incisions smaller and keep them away from fractures so as not to compromise the blood supply to the fracture site. This allows for better healing of the fractured bone. A C-arm allows surgeons to check fracture alignment during surgery and ensure that the rods, plates and screws used to fix fractures are in the proper position without having to make an incision to directly visualize the fractured bone.

The new mini C-arm is replacing one that is so old that parts are no longer available to fix it. In its youth, the old one was cutting edge technology, so much so that GGH surgeons had to visit University of Guelph’s Veterinary Collage to see how it functioned because they had one before most hospitals in the province. That was 28 years ago.

Technology advances quickly and new C-arms have new features that result in better patient care,” explained Dr. Gary Stamp, one of Guelph General’s orthopaedic surgeons. “Most significantly, they emit far less radiation and the image quality is so much better that surgeons can spot small areas that may require further attention during surgery.

GGH’s new C-arm is also equipped with a laser guide which allows surgeons to better align the unit over a specific fracture site before turning it on, further reducing radiation exposure. In addition, it has more features that can be controlled by the surgeon which means they don’t need an X-ray technologist present to use it. This frees up time for the X-ray technologist to better serve patients in the Hospital’s Emergency Department.

The mini C-arm was fully funded through the 50/50 Hospital Lottery proceeds from December 2020, January 2021, and February 2021 ticket purchases.

Dr. Stamp expressed his gratitude, “I would like to thank our supporters for their generosity. Equipment upgrades like this allow us to perform at our best and provide our patients with the best outcomes possible.”

At the Foundation, we’re grateful for everyone who has played the 50/50 Hospital Lottery for Guelph General Hospital; in doing so, you save lives and improve health, together with our community