Patients at Aberdeen’s flagship hospital are the first in Scotland to benefit from a pioneering new machine.
Friends of ANCHOR donated a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that automatically delivers radioactive drugs to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s Positron Emission Tomography (PET) centre.
The £100,000 device has been in action since May, safely dispensing radioactive drugs for PET scans and reducing hospital staff exposure to harmful radiation.
Dr Roger Staff, the hospital’s head of imaging physics, said: “We’ve always been a cutting-edge department here, so introducing new technologies is something that we’re quite familiar with, but it’s a feather in the cap that we’re first on board in Scotland.
“The machine means we’ll be able to do more patients in an increased capacity, we’ll be able to do it safer so that staff receive less dose, and we’ll be able to personalise the dose to the patient as well.
The machine remotely injects patients with a radioactive tracer, usually a form of glucose.
Patients are then scanned with a PET scanner, allowing medical professionals to see where the tracer collects, often allowing them to detect tumours.
Friends of ANCHOR’s donation means more patients can receive this vital scan, as staff were previously limited in the doses they could supply for their own safety.
The charity’s committee member Steve Gibb knows how important the organisation’s work is for the unit.
He said: “Without the equipment that friends of ANCHOR and other charities provide, patients would have to travel way down south to get the treatment they need.
“There’s a lot of equipment at ARI and at Aberdeen University that wouldn’t be here without the support of people that support the charity, so it’s just fantastic to see the kit being bought and put into use.
“This is our 20th year we’ve been running, and every year we get more and more support from the local community and local businesses.
“It really is quite remarkable, not just in terms of money donated, but the time that people put in to support the charity is truly gratifying.”
Dr Staff added: “Capital spends for equipment in the NHS is very tight and capital spends for innovations like this is difficult to find, so Friends of ANCHOR have been fantastic.”