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Grey Hospital to Get New CT Scanner

Grey Hospital to Get New CT Scanner

Grey Base Hospital’s new $800,000 CT scanner arrives soon and should be installed and operational by Thursday 16 October.

The hospital has had its current CT Scanner since early 2007. With some reliability issues this year and the rapid progress in scanner technology, the West Coast District Health Board agreed to the purchase of a new machine.

The new system is a Toshiba Aquilion Prime 160 slice Helical CT Scanner. The number of slices indicates the number of images the scanner can take per revolution of the x-ray machine inside it. That means the new scanner is 10 times faster than the old 16 slice machine.

Charge Medical Radiation Technologist Jason Lister says DHB representatives agreed this was the best system for the needs of our respective communities, after spending time reviewing all the available options from suppliers of medical imaging equipment in New Zealand.

“This new scanner has a larger hole (78cm vs 70cm) which will be more comfortable for patients and has a much wider bed. The bed can also accommodate much larger patients – up to 300kgs vs 180kg on the existing scanner,” Mr Lister says.

The much faster computer can reconstruct 60 images per second and it has a new technology called “iterative reconstruction” that lowers the amount of x-rays needed to make a diagnostic image.

“This is a big improvement for radiation protection of our patients, and it does this while at the same time providing a better quality image than the existing scanner could manage – although that image quality in itself was very good,” he says.

The new scanner has many other additional features and accessories that will make scanning faster, easier and more comfortable.

West Coast DHB Programme Director Michael Frampton says the purchase of this CT scanner is a further example of the benefits of the Coast’s relationship with the Canterbury health system.

“Using the combined purchasing power enabled by the transalpine relationship between the West Coast and Canterbury District Health Boards, both DHBs are replacing older technology with these new scanners,” he says.

The old scanner will be removed and the new one installed over two weeks from 2 – 16 October, which means no CT scanning services at Grey Base Hospital during this time.

Mr Lister has been working with the likes of St John, hospital and community clinicians, Canterbury District Health Board radiology staff and helicopter rescue services so plans are in place to ensure safe management and treatment of patients while the new scanner is being installed.


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