SWMC introduces new CT scanner

August 17, 2015

A member of the Southwest Medical Center care team helps perform a CT scan on a patient Friday afternoon inside a new 64-slice CT scanner located in the Diagnostic Imaging department. Southwest Medical Center introduced new technology upgrades for patients this month with the installation of a new 64-slice CT scanner in the Diagnostic Imaging department.

Patients undergoing a computed tomography (CT) scan at Southwest Medical Center will have higher quality images available through this new equipment, which leads to faster, more accurate diagnosis of health conditions such as stroke.

“Patients entering our department are cared for by highly skilled members of our team who have very sophisticated technology available, such as our 1.5 Tesla MRI and dual-head nuclear medicine camera,” SWMC’s Diagnostic Imaging director, Kelly Denton, explained. “The addition of this 64-slice CT scanner further enhances the quality of care we are able to provide our patients.”

CT scanners send X-rays through a patient’s body to capture images of structures and organs to detect conditions such as tumors, blockages, infections, blood vessel issues, and more. During stroke evaluation, a CT scan is one of the first tests performed on a patient to show possible abnormalities in the brain related to a stroke. Faster scans available using this new CT scanner will improve the response time for stroke evaluations and treatment at Southwest Medical Center.

“Stroke readiness in our Emergency Room has been a focus of ours for many years,” SWMC Vice-President of Patient Care, Jo Harrison, BSN, explained. “With this state-of-the-art upgraded CT scanner, we will be able to incorporate these high-quality images with our upcoming telemedicine program to consult with neurologists across the state and determine the best plan of care for patients suffering from stroke.”

In addition to improved images and faster scan times, the new CT scanner also allows for CT angiography of lower extremities. This scanner also gives patient care teams the ability to administer lower contrast amounts to patients, which reduces their risk of renal problems.

In 2014, Southwest Medical Center performed 3,840 total CT scans in the Diagnostic Imaging department.