For Immediate Release
April 4, 2011
HDGH Reaches Record Volume on CT Scans
Scanners Now Provide More than Nine Million Images of Patients Annually
(Windsor, ON) – Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital hit a new record in 2010 when it comes to providing CT scans, which help diagnose patients through state-of-the-art technology.Computer Tomography (CT) scanners deliver cross-sectional images or “slices” of the body, images that conventional X-Ray simply could not. Since about 1970, CT has rapidly evolved. In fact, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital has replaced its CT scanner four times to keep up to these rapid changes offering the best possible diagnostic images available to our community. “In 2006 we imaged about 17,000 patients or acquired 2.5 million images,” states Walter Brisebois, PACS Coordinator. “Four years later in 2010 that number has grown to about 25,000 patients and nine million images.” Walter says that our Emergency Department accounts for about 25 per cent of all CT imaging, which totalled approximately 6,500 patients in 2010.According to Brisebois, HDGH currently has two CT scanners and one of those scanners is considered to be one of the most advanced scanners on the market today providing highly specialized cardiac imaging. Walter says these latest scanners also acquire multiple images per rotation. With our current scanners, it takes more time to get a patient on and off the CT table than the actual scan itself.Early CT scanners rotated an X-Ray tube around the patient very slowly and reconstructions took anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes on average. These older scanners also only acquired one image for each rotation around the patient, while HDGH’s latest CT scanners can rotate around a patient up to three times per second and reconstruct images almost immediately. Unique for Southwestern Ontario, Mary-Alice Beneteau, Director, Diagnostic Imaging, staffs the CT department 24 hours a day, raising the level of patient care offered here at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital.“Patient care as a result of CT imaging has improved drastically over the
years,” states Walter. “Today, we offer CT drains using local sedation, improving patient care when compared to the same procedure in OR surgery under general sedation. CT Renal Colic scans immediately give us the ability to diagnose kidney stones that previously required a series of lengthy X-Rays which were not always conclusive. A CT of the head offers immediate images to diagnose showing bone and soft tissue compared to historic skull X-Rays which were limited in what pathology they can display.”In addition, Walter points out that CT Pulmonary Embolism scans are exceptionally accurate in diagnosing blockages of blood supply to the lungs. “The latest CT imaging offered by HDGH is Virtual Colonography (VC) and Cardiac imaging,” states Walter. “VC offers the patient an option for a non-invasive procedure. The Radiologist views 3D reconstructed images of the colon. Coronary Vessel Studies again offer a non-invasive option for Cardiologists or patients. With VC and Cardiac studies, a large amount of CT “slices” are reconstructed to produce highly detailed 3D images.”When asked to describe how a CT scanner works, Walter said, “A CT scanner shoots X-rays through a patient and measures what passed through the patient using X-Ray detectors.” He says that this data is reconstructed to produce visual images that can be read by a trained physician. “Sometimes specialized dyes are used to enhance certain organs,” adds Walter. Dr. Fred Netherton, HDGH’s Chief Radiologist is also our Lead CT Radiologist who implements decisions made by our Radiologists on how images are acquired. Bonnie Burrian is the senior CT Technologist responsible for making the CT department run smoothly. Both of our CT scanners are managed from a single shared control area. During the day Bonnie works with two CT Technologists to keep both CT’s continuously imaging patients. During the weekends, afternoon and midnight shifts we have one CT technologist to handle inpatient and emergency patient requests. Also during the day, one Radiologist is assigned to read all imaging from our CT scanners and during the afternoon and midnight shift, one radiologist is on call for remote reading of emergency CT requests. Having all of this CT technology at our fingertips, means that at HDGH we can quickly provide the most comprehensive care for our patients – which in the end provides us with the best possible patient outcomes.Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital is the premier tertiary acute care hospital for the Windsor-Essex region. The hospital provides advanced care in such areas as complex trauma, renal dialysis, cardiac care, stroke and neurosurgery, acute mental health and a broad range of medical and surgical services required to support these specialized areas.
For more information contact Steve Erwin, Director of Communications at 519-973-4433.