The Memorial Hospital: Technology at TMH enhances diagnoses

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The Memorial Hospital has added a state-of-the-art multi-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner to their facility.

The new Brilliance CT scanner features advanced technology that produces split-second, high-quality images, permitting doctors to see more anatomical detail in a fraction of the time needed for other tests. With this new CT scanner, TMH's doctors will be able to more effectively detect and treat a range of life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung disease.

The possibility of discovering disease in an early stage, when a wider array of effective treatment options may be available, will help doctors make an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment for their patients.

"We can use the extensive image information we get from the Brilliance CT scanner to generate very detailed 3D images, which can be used for the diagnosis and also shared very quickly with referring physicians and surgeons, where needed, for pre-surgical planning for treatment evaluation and follow-up," Radiology Manager Stacie Rosenthal said.

The speed and sub-millimeter detail of the new CT scanner also will contribute to more rapid assessment and decision-making in trauma cases, where physicians may have to make life and death decisions within minutes.

Patients who need a CT scan will find that TMH's scanner offers a much more pleasant experience than past scanners did. Heart and coronary evaluations using a CT scanner will reduce the need for drugs to regulate the rhythm of the heart. A hospital stay is not required.

"Older patients and those with breathing difficulties or some other distress will really appreciate the shorter exams," Rosenthal said. "We'll have them in and out much faster, and their doctors will be able to access detailed, definitive results within minutes."

All CT scanners use X-rays; however the new Brilliance scanner uses a significantly lower amount of X-ray energy than many of the other CT systems in the valley.

"While we need the critical anatomical information we get from a CT scan, we always want to limit the X-ray dose to the patient to the absolute minimum possible, especially for children," Rosenthal said. "Our new Brilliance scanner features unique technology that ensures we get exceptional images with significantly lower does to the patient. And, it has specific built-in pediatric protocols that further minimize the dose to children."

Another advantage the hospital can offer is the ability to provide larger patients with a CT scan option. The new scanner has a table weight capacity of up to 440 pounds.

"In the past, being able to handle some larger patients was sometimes a challenge because most equipment simply can't accommodate them," Rosenthal said. "With the Brilliance CT, we can handle the additional body weight, and those patients will be able to benefit from this great diagnostic technology as well."

A CT scan produces a cross-sectional image of the human anatomy, which helps the clinician to rule out or confirm the presence of certain disease, and in some cases, to evaluate the extent of injuries to a trauma patient, such as someone involved in an automobile accident. During the noninvasive test, the patient is placed on a table and moved incrementally through the squared-off, donut-shaped scanner while an X-ray beam is projected through the cross sections of their anatomy. The X-ray passes through the patient and is recorded on electronic detectors in the scanner. This information is then sent to a specialized computer that reconstructs the information into individual slices and combines them sequentially into a comprehensive volume image of the entire scanned area. The thinner the slices, the more revealing the detail is in the resulting images, and the more definitive the exam results.

For more information, call The Memorial Hospital Service Excellence Officer, Samantha Johnston at 970-826-3109.

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