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The hospital is now offering breast
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the
first time, following the generous donation
of new MRI breast coil technology by the
During a breast MRI examination, the
patient lies face down on the table with
her breasts positioned in two cylinders,
referred to as breast coils, which take
up to 800 images of each breast. While
mammograms continue to provide the first
line of defence in detecting breast cancer
in most women, MRI is more effective at
detecting breast cancer in women who are
considered at very high risk, such as young
women with dense breast tissue.
Clinical Head of FMC's Medical Imaging
Campus, Dr Marc Agzarian, said the
technology, worth more than $40,000,
was considered best possible practice
because of its ability to produce high-
quality images of the breast.
"Better images mean a better, sometimes
earlier diagnosis," he said.
Dr Agzarian said breast MRI screenings
were particularly useful in finding tiny
breast cancers in high-risk women
aged between 25 and 50, for whom
some cancers are hard to detect in
mammograms due to high breast tissue
Young women who are identified as
being at high-risk -- either through family
history or genetic abnormalities -- are
encouraged to undergo annual breast MRI
screenings, worth around $700, as part of
their regular screening routine. Previously
patients living in southern Adelaide had
to pay private health facilities to carry out
a breast MRI -- a service now available at
FMC, at no cost to the patient.
FMC Consultant Radiologist Dr
Pakan Kleinig said the convenience
of performing a mammogram or an
ultrasound and following on with a breast
MRI in the same location made the process
of diagnosis easier for both patients and
"Women will now be able to come here
for a comprehensive diagnostic service and
have this component of their care done on
location," she said.
"Thanks to the FMC Foundation's
generous donation we are now able to
provide the absolute best care to women
of the south -- a fully integrated service."
New coil improves breast cancer
BY FRAN GALLARDO
Doctors at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) have a powerful new tool
to help detect and diagnose women deemed to be at high-risk of
developing breast cancer.
Shorter waiting times,
more timely care for
BY JACQUIE VAN SANTEN
Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) is now the
busiest emergency department in South
Australia, but thanks to an innovative new
model of care, waiting times for patients and
the time it takes to either be admitted into
hospital or discharged has been reduced.
The model of care involves senior doctors assessing
patients early after arrival in the Emergency
Department, so decisions about their care can be made
in a more timely way.
The initiative, which was introduced in February
this year, is part of Southern Adelaide Local Health
Network's (SALHN) commitment to evolve and develop
new and more efficient ways of providing care to
manage growing patient demand.
SALHN Chief Executive Officer Belinda Moyes said in
its first three months (February-May) the new model of
care had seen a 10 per cent increase in the percentage
of patients seen and discharged within four hours,
compared to the same three months in 2012.
More patients are also being seen, treated and
admitted within four hours and seen within
"This has been a remarkable effort from the clinicians
in the Emergency Department and on inpatient wards
at FMC, considering there has been a 16 per cent
increase in emergency presentations in 2014 compared
to 2012," she said.
In the traditional Emergency Department model,
patients are 'worked up' by junior doctors before being
seen by a senior doctor, who then makes decisions
about ongoing care requirements. This sometimes
leads to lengthy delays, as investigations and further
management tend to occur sequentially.
The new model involves senior doctors reviewing all
patients early on in their stay in the ED, and again at
two to three hours after arriving at the ED, at that
stage making a decision about their ongoing care.
"This model of care has not only enhanced patient
flow, but provides more timely access to inpatient areas
for patients and reduces their waiting times in the
Emergency Department. And that has benefits not only
for those receiving care, but for those providing it,"
said SALHN Director of Emergency Services, Associate
Professor Alan O'Connor.
FMC Consultant Radiologist Dr Pakan
Kleing and Radiographer Charlotte
Wigley with a patient having a breast MRI.
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