Posted June 27, 2012
Imagine needing an x-ray, but not being able to sit in the position required to capture the best image?
Many of our Grandview Kids have faced this dilemma, but thanks to an innovative partnership initiated by Grandview, that's history now.
Clients of Grandview with scoliosis are referred to Grandview's Orthopaedic Clinic for an assessment of their spines, routinely including a review of x-ray examinations previously completed at Lakeridge Health Bowmanville.
At Grandview, we often see scoliosis in our clients with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy and other complex diagnoses. Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side in the shape of an "S" or a "C" rather than a straight line. Severe cases of scoliosis cause difficulties in sitting and standing comfortably, thus limiting a person's ability to participate in life.
Our clinic's Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Unni Narayanan, requests x-rays as part of his assessment to obtain a true picture of the curvature of the child's spine - since most of these clients rely on wheelchairs for mobility and independence, it is especially important for the x-ray to capture the effect of gravity on their spines while in a seated position. However, the majority of kids who need this type of x-ray are not able to sit independently in the x-ray equipment previously available at Lakeridge Bowmanville (a rolling stool with no armrest, backrest or seat belt), so it was necessary to complete their x-rays while lying on their back.
Inspired by Grandview 's value of innovation and the culture of inquiry that encourages us to advance our capabilities, Winnie Wong, Physiotherapist, brought these x-ray challenges, along with some potential solutions she researched, to Grandview's Executive Director, Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann.
As x-ray chairs for this purpose are not available for commercial purchase, a custom-design was necessary. The result was a partnership to design and build an x-ray chair for children and youth affected by scoliosis between Grandview's Medical Director Dr. Carolyn Hunt and Bill Johnson and Terry Johnson of Ideas for Independent Living Inc., Dodie Cook, Manager of Diagnostic Imaging across all Lakeridge Health sites, and Kathy Forestall, lead of Diagnostic Imaging at Lakeridge Health Oshawa. The team also consulted on the design with Joe Chan, Radiology Technologist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabiltation Hospital in Toronto.
Grandview Children's Centre supplied the funding for the construction of this equipment at a cost of approximately $3,000.
On June 12, 2012, the new x-ray chair was delivered by Grandview to Lakeridge Health Oshawa where digital x-ray imaging is available and more readily transferred to Sick Kids Hospital if surgery is required. Now Grandview clients affected by scoliosis can have full digital x-ray images of their spines at Lakeridge Health Oshawa while seated comfortably and safely, increasing the efficiency of the procedure and reducing the need for repeated x-ray examinations prior to surgery -- all beneficial outcomes for the kids, their surgeon Dr. Narayanan, and their therapy team at Grandview.
Click here to view more images of the new x-ray chair.
This x-ray chair partnership project reflects Grandview's ability to be flexible and innovative to accomplish goals. Congratulations, team!