8 March 2011
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto will get two new multi-detector CT scanners this week, as part of a broader R157-million programme to improve equipment in the hospital.
Gauteng Health and Social Development MEC Ntombi Mekgwe visited the hospital over the weekend to assess its readiness to host the 128-slice and 64-slice machines, after building alterations to accommodate the machines were undertaken last week.
“We are anticipating that the machines will be installed by 17 March 2011,” Mekgwe said of the scanners that were ordered from Japan last year.
Highest quality images
According to the department, the machines are able to scan the entire body in one breath-hold, as well as capture a beating heart and watch it in real-time. The images produced are of the highest quality, providing the perfect platform for highly trained radiologists to perform advanced diagnoses.
The machines can reduce X-ray doses significantly, which is particularly important in children and young women; to make examinations even safer, the radiation dose to the patient will be lowered by up to 75% compared to conventional scanners.
The advanced design of the CT scanners allows for patient examinations to be completed quickly and efficiently, greatly improving the number of patients sent to the X-ray department.
The department added that the overall patient-friendly design of the CT scanners, namely the large gantry opening, wide and comfortable patient couch, together with the short examination times and low-dose scan techniques, provide a safe and comfortable scanning environment.
Mekgwe noted that the new scanners are also capable of allowing the operator to monitor the patient’s heart rate prior to the actual examination, explaining that the cardiac software automatically sets optimal scan conditions.
“This assures the best possible image quality for each and every cardiac examination performed, the diagnostic outcome has never been as certain as today with the new CT scanners,” she said.
Comprehensive training programme
In addition to the acquisition of the scanners, Mekgwe announced that the supplier, Medi-Four Medical, will embark on a fully comprehensive training programme that engages consultants, registrars, interns and radiographers.
“The training programme shall be repeated to cater for the rotational roster of other medical personnel whom are posted at the hospital in the coming weeks. In addition, the company shall train the registrars and consultants in non-invasive cardiac, virtual colonoscopy scans,” she said.