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DHB investing in radiology services, new CT scanner

22 August 2014

Media Release

DHB continues to invest in radiology services with new CT scanner on the way

Faster scans are on the way for Waitemata District Health Board patients with the board approving the purchase of a new stateoftheart CT scanner for North Shore Hospital this month.

Due for installation early 2015, the new machine will replace the hospital’s existing 10yearold CT scanner with a more technologicallyadvanced model that will enable the DHB to meet increased demand for radiology services.

The new machine will complement the service’s existing flagship Toshiba Aquilion ONE CT scanner, commissioned in 2011.

Waitemata DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley says the continued investment in radiology services is part of the DHB’s ongoing development programme to meet the needs of its growing population.

“The demand for radiology services continues to grow and the CT scanning service is a critical part of the medical journey for many patients,” says Dr Bramley.

“The new scanner will deliver high quality medical imagery in a faster timeframe, allowing the hospital to scan one or two extra patients every day.”

The new scanner will capture highly detailed images, enabling doctors to view every angle of an organ, along with blood flow and function. It will be used to evaluate potentially life threatening conditions such as head injuries, strokes and cardiac disease as well as provide diagnosis and followup studies for our patients with cancer.

“Investment in our facilities and equipment is a top priority for the DHB,” says Dr Bramley. “The new scanner will improve our capabilities and ultimately the service we provide our community.”

Approval of the new CT scanner, the DHB’s third, is the latest development in worldclass diagnostic imaging available at Waitemata DHB. The announcement comes little more than a month after the DHB opened its new MRI suite, housing a $2.9 million 3 Tesla scanner which uses powerful magnetic fields to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and other internal body parts, and a significant upgrade of the existing 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner to asnew condition.

About the Waitemata DHB CT scanning service:
- Waitemata DHB operates a 24hour sevendayaweek CT scanning service at both North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals.

- In the 2013/14 year, Waitemata DHB conducted 28,700 CT scans and 6,300 MRI scans.

- The number of CT scans performed by the DHB has increased by 43 percent over the past three years.

- The $2.8m Toshiba Aquilion ONE CT scanner commissioned at North Shore Hospital in 2011 was the first of its kind in New Zealand, with the hospital acting as a reference site for other DHBs around the country.

- CT scan referrals are received from the hospital’s emergency department, general surgery, cardiology, otorhinolaryngology, orthopaedics, respiratory and urology services as well as general practitioners in the district.

- The introduction of the new scanner will further increase patient throughput and reduce the time needed for medical conditions to be diagnosed and treated.

MRI and CT scanning:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to render detailed images of inside the body. An MRI scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body in particular soft tissue evaluation. This may include the brain and spinal cord, bones and joints, breasts, heart and blood vessels, and internal organs such as the liver or prostate gland. The results of an MRI scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan and evaluate treatments.

- Computerised tomography (CT) scanning uses Xrays to create detailed images of inside the body. The images produced by a CT scan are more detailed than standard Xrays. A CT scan can produce images of structures inside the body, including the internal organs, blood vessels, bones and tumours. CT scans can be used to diagnose a myriad of conditions affecting the human body including strokes and most forms of cancer. CT is used routinely to assess for injuries to internal organs such as the brain, kidneys, liver or spleen and is a
vital tool for assessing the response of cancers to treatment.


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