24 Feb 2007

Concerns raised about faulty and outdated equipment in American Samoa hospital

9:40 am on 24 February 2007

American Samoa's LBJ Hospital does not have a functioning EKG machine, which is used to evaluate symptoms of heart disease

The existing machines have been in use for ten years and there are no spare parts to repair them.

Some patients requiring cardiogram tests have had to travel off island because they were advised that the EKG machines in use at the hospital are giving false information and cannot be calibrated because there are no tools to do the job.

The Supervisor of LBJ's Cardiac Lab, Fiso Avegalio, says numerous requests for new EKG equipment have been ignored for the last four years.

He says now the hospital is faced with the reality it no longer has an EKG machine that works properly

Avegalio says the Cardiac Lab is no longer able to perform ekg tests for patients needeing surgery and those brought into the emergency rooms.

For emergency cases, the hospital is using portable EKG machines carried by the ambulances.

Officials say this is compromising the emergency services and their mission.