Hartselle Medical Center adds CT scanner

By Staff
Haley Aaron , Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle Medical Center recently purchased a new computed tomography (CT) scanner, the Toshiba Aquilion 16.
CT technology, like X-ray and MRI, is used to provide images of the body that are used for non-invasive diagnosis. Unlike other imaging processes, however, CT technology can be used to provide a complete image of organs, blood vessels and bones. By utilizing this technology, doctors can perform a wide variety of tests and scans on any part of the body.
Use of CT technology has greatly increased with expanding technology, said Hartselle Medical Center CEO Jeff Rains. He estimates that the hospital performs several thousand scans each year.
"We saw the opportunity to really upgrade an existing CT scanner that we had and we bought this new unit from Toshiba," Rains said. "It's really a wonderful piece of equipment and we're glad to offer it to the community."
During a scan, patients are positioned inside the machine. It encircles the patient and X-rays create pictures of the body. These pictures are transferred onto a computer, where doctors can quickly see the results and provide a diagnosis.
The technology is used to diagnose a variety of injuries and diseases and therefore services a wide range of patients.
The new CT scanner provides more detailed images of organs and veins because the machine's rapid scanning speeds reduce distortion caused by organ movement. The scanner is also able to take multiple images during each rotation. "The quality of the image that the physician sees today is multiple times better than we were able to offer in the past," Rains said.
New advances in vascular imaging will also allow doctors to examine blood flow within the arteries and detect the presence of plaque within blood vessels.
The new scanner will also significantly reduce exam times. Scans that once lasted for three to five minutes can now be completed in a matter of seconds. For trauma and ERA patients, the faster scan times may be lifesaving. "If we can cut that down by even a matter of minutes, it can make a world of difference in the outcome for that patient," Rains said.
Reduced exam times will also reduce the amount of radiation a patient is exposed to during the test.
"We're really excited to be able to expand our services at Hartselle Medical Center and serve the Hartselle and Morgan County community," Rains said.

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