Jan. 27, 2004 – Most people on St. Croix probably don't know what a duodenoscope is, but they should be glad to know that, thanks to a donation from Hovensa, Juan F. Luis Hospital now has one.
The device is a state-of-the-art piece of medical equipment that will enable hospital personnel to conduct a visual examination of the lining of a patient's esophagus, stomach and small intestine without the need for conventional surgery.
Equally important, it will enable the medical professionals "to remove any foreign object that may accidentally become lodged in the esophagus," according to a Hovensa release.
Examples of such situations would be a coin stuck in a child's throat or a chicken bone caught in that of an adult.
These are procedures for which, until now, a patient has had "to be sent to the hospital on St. Thomas or to a hospital in Puerto Rico," the release stated.
Hovensa decided to donate the duodenoscope, which cost $75,000, after learning of two incidents in the last year in which children of employees had foreign objects lodged in their throats and had to be flown off island for their removal.
Lawrence J. Kupfer, Hovensa president and chief operating officer, made the presentation on Monday in a ceremony at Luis Hospital. He said that as the father of twin 11-year-olds, he is pleased that the hospital is now better able to respond to the kind of medical emergency that either of them might face in the future.
Dr. Raymond Cintron, the hospital's chief of gastroenterology, expressed his thanks at the ceremony. He commented that is it frustrating when he knows what to do to respond to the medical problems of patients who come to the hospital but does not have the equipment necessary to perform a procedure.
With the duodenoscope, Cintron said, the hospital will be able to perform medical procedures on the gall bladder, liver and pancreas without open surgery.
Kupfer also said that Hovensa is committed to helping to improve the quality of life for its employees and the wider community. "Consider this a down payment," he told the Luis Hospital officials, "and we're looking forward to doing more."
Gregory Calliste, new chief executive officer, and Dr. Michael Potts, who had served as interim CEO prior to Calliste's appointment, also expressed their appreciation at the ceremony.
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