CT scanner installed
St. Mary’s Hospital recently installed a new CT scanner manufactured by Siemens which is recognized as the front runner in radiology safety. Currently SMH does approximately 1200 CT’s a year.
“This new CT scanner is ten times faster than the old machine; a procedure that used to take five minutes can now be done in 20 seconds,” commented Steve Wilson, director of radiology at SMH. “This machine also allows us to do more exams than we were able to do in the past and with higher quality.”
Jessica Stewart, a certified CT and Radiology Tech spent a week in North Carolina receiving training on the new scanner. A trainer from Siemens also came to SMH to provide training for the entire department and will be coming out again in September to give some additional training.
CT stands for Computed Tomography; a medical imaging method that employs tomography which is the process of generating a two-dimensional image of a slice or section through a 3-dimensional object. A CT scanner emits a series of narrow beams through the body as it moves through an arc, unlike an X-ray machine which sends just one radiation beam; the final picture is far more detailed. CT’s are used mainly for head injuries and for looking at the abdomen, chest and pelvis areas whereas a MRI which uses magnets vs. radiation is used to look at the joints and spine.
One of the many benefits of the new CT is that updates will be able to be made to the software without having to purchase a whole new machine. Another benefit is the bore of this machine is 6 inches larger which enables SMH to accommodate larger patients. In addition the new power injector that is used with the CT does not use as much IV contrast it instead uses saline water.
“The investment in this new CT is a huge benefit to our local community,” said Wilson. “SMH is on the cutting edge of technology. This machine can compete with machines in the larger areas; such as Lewiston and Clarkston. We now receive reports back within half an hour on the exams we send electronically to radiologist at Gritman or V-Rad.”
Arnzen Building Construction was the general contractor for the renovations of the CT building.
The work included demolition of floors, walls, ceilings, electrical and mechanical systems specific for operation of the old CT equipment. They then installed new electrical, mechanical, lead shielding and finishes for the New Siemens CT scanner.
Steve Wilson, director of radiology at SMH showing off the new CT scanner.