South Africa: New CT scanners for Baragwanath Hospital

Pretoria – Two new multi-detector CT scanners are expected to be delivered to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital today.

Gauteng Health and Social Development MEC, Ntombi Mekgwe, who visited the hospital on Sunday to assess the availability of equipment and hospital readiness for the arrival of the new CT scanners said the two multi-detector CT scanners – 128 slice and 64 slice machines – will be arriving today.

Building alterations to accommodate the machines commenced last Wednesday and will be completed on Thursday.

“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. She added that R157 million was being spent to equip the hospital.

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 dose significantly, which is particularly important in children and young women. To make today’s cardiac CT examinations even safer, the radiation dose to the patient will be lowered by up to 75 percent 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.

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,” said the MEC.

Meanwhile, Mekgwe has disputed the recent media reports regarding the hospital not having adequate supplies of milk for patients.

The MEC will today conduct a sod turning ceremony at Pholosong Hospital to prepare for the building of a new accident and emergency unit.

Source – BuaNews