The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) says it is extremely grateful to the Peter J. Isola Foundation for its donation of a fantastic new General Electric (GE) Point-Of-Care ultrasound machine.

The touchscreen GE Venue is an ultraportable, rapid access, artificial-intelligence-enabled ultra-sound scanning machine. It is primarily designed to be used in A&E and intensive care emergencies, ongoing critical care support and delivery of regional anaesthesia - but has a plethora of additional features including lifesaving treatments, which will be used throughout the hospital.

In the emergency setting, the machine can be used to perform focused intensive care scanning of the heart and lungs, as well as FAST scans (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma) of the abdomen. This empowers clinicians to accelerate the diagnostic process and expedite immediate, life-saving treatment.

In the anaesthetic department, the multitude of features and much-improved clarity of images will also be enormously beneficial to patients receiving regional anaesthesia in higher risk areas for upper and lower limb surgery.

Another patient group that will benefit from the new equipment is critically unstable patients requiring insertion of central (typically neck) venous access, to facilitate infusions of life-sustaining drugs. Similarly, patients with poor veins will be happy to know that the machine can also assist doctors and nurses to insert cannulas or draw blood when conventional methods have proven unsuccessful.

In the era of COVID-19, one of the most important benefits of the new machine is its ability to be easily decontaminated before and after use. This avoids the potential transfer of COVID 19, or other pathogens, from an infected patient to an uninfected patient, visiting relative, or GHA staff member.

The new machine was presented to the Minister for Health and Care by Mr Peter Isola, co-founder of the Peter J. Isola Foundation, accompanied by trustee of the foundation, Genevieve Bossino-Soussi. Also, in attendance were GHA Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Consultants Dr Mark Garcia Isola and Dr Hamish Thomson.

Mr Peter Isola commented: “Recent times have brought a spotlight on the extraordinary work of our healthcare professionals. They continue to work tirelessly within our community; therefore, it is so important that they have the right equipment to do their job. On behalf of the Peter J. Isola Foundation, we are delighted to provide the GHA with a new GE Point-Of-Care ultrasound, which will have benefits for all of Gibraltar.

The Hon. Minister for Health and Care Mr Paul Balban said, “It gives me great pleasure to accept, on behalf of the GHA, another kind and hugely valuable donation and investment in the health of our small nation. I sincerely wish to thank Peter and the members of the Peter Isola Foundation for their contribution to Health Care in Gibraltar.”