Hospital on cutting edge of technology

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April 21, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Computerized tomography (CT) diagnoses took a giant leap forward when the Allen County Regional Hospital opened Dec. 10.
Acquisition of a new 64-slice CT scanner was a big technological advance for the hospital and of substantial advantage for patients, David-Paul Cavazos told Iola Rotarians Thursday.
Cavazos is director of imaging at the hospital.
“We had a four-slice CT at the old hospital,” Cavazos said, explaining the difference by relating the “slicing” to a loaf of bread. Four slices from a loaf are thick, he said, but cut the same loaf into 64 slices and “you can see much better” each slice’s individual makeup.
A 64-slice CT produces 64 views for each millimeter scanned. An inch contains 25.4 millimeters.
A CT scan uses computer-processed X-rays to produce virtual “slices” of whatever organ or body part is being scanned.
When Cavazos began looking at new CTs for the hospital, prices for a 64-slice machine approached $1 million, but “we got a good price” at $528,000, he said.
ACRH’s CT scan is used for a variety of examinations, including cardiac scans, of which “we’d like to do more,” Cavazos said. “We are working to make area doctors aware that we have cardiac capabilities.”
Patients find the new CT scan more comfortable, particularly for those who suffer from claustrophobia. It has a short opening, rather than a full-body tube usually found with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
An MRI is the next step in scan technology on the hospital’s horizon, he said.
“But, they’re about $1.5 million,” he said.
A mobile MRI is at the hospital on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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