So far Dickinson County Hospital's staff has been pleased with their new two million dollar CT scanner that they received six months ago.
"It's been fantastic," explains John To, chief of radiology. "The problem with it is there's so many options that it takes us a little while to figure out how to use it best."
The new machine has two x-ray tubes and two detectors allowing staff to do a more in-depth diagnosis at a faster speed.
"This is the only scanner in the world that only has two x-ray tubes in it," says To. "All the other scanners only have one tube, and that gives us a lot of flexibility with speed or dose or resolution."
The chief radiologist continued that his staff "couldn't do certain studies" because the old scanners weren't fast enough. The old scanner would do an abdominal scan in approximately 16 seconds whereas the new scanner can do it in half that time or even less.
"A heart CT would take like 12 to 13 seconds," says CT section head Don Dumke. "This scanner it does it in one heart beat, so it's very, very quick."
The faster scan means a significantly lower dose of radiation for patients.
"The computer power of this scanner reduces the radiation dose considerably, and that's a comfort to the patients as well," Dumke explains.