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Health e Matters
hcmc.org  |  March 2012
 

In This Issue
 
Keep Your Brain in the Game

Cold Weather Health Emergencies

New Low Dose Imaging Provides Lower Doses of Radiation for Patients, Higher Quality Images for Physicians

Keep Medications Properly Secured – March Is Poison Prevention Month

New Blog for Teens!


Social Workers Break Down Barriers to Better Health

Avocado Green Onion Party Dip and Dippers

Enter to Win a Free Cookbook

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Hennepin County Medical Center

New Low Dose Imaging Provides Lower Doses of Radiation for Patients, Higher Quality Images for Physicians

Chip Truwit, MD
Chief of Radiology

Doctors at Hennepin County Medical Center now have a new diagnostic tool that gives them the information they need – without the extra radiation patients don't need. It's part of a new approach to medical imaging based on Philips CT (CAT scan) and X-ray systems, which includes techniques, programs and practices to ensure the best image quality while reducing radiation exposure to patients and the hospital's clinical staff.

"Everyone's concerned about radiation exposure, and the goal of X-ray and CT scanning is to obtain a clear image so we're able to make an accurate diagnosis," explains Dr. Chip Truwit, Chief of Radiology at Hennepin. "More radiation used to mean clearer images – but not with this new technology. We're now able to customize the radiation to the patient and deliver only what's needed to get a clear image. This often results in being able to reduce the patients' exposure by one-half or even down to one-tenth of what we'd normally use."

In imaging language, graininess or "noise" reduces image quality. The low-dose scanner technology drastically reduces this "noise." For example, in order to produce a clear, noise-free image, radiation beams must be strong enough to penetrate through the tissues of a larger patient. But the new technology reconstructs the images – noise-free – to generate a readable image without the extra radiation.

"Hennepin has made the commitment to be on the leading edge to reduce medical radiation doses," says Dr. Truwit. "It's a direct and conscientious decision to reduce radiation exposure to our patients and our staff. Now we can do this and still be able to read the exam without the risk of missing anything."

Hennepin's intelligent dose management is now incorporated into every aspect of its CT and X-ray imaging studies. Philips technologies automatically calculate the best technique for each exam to deliver the lowest X-ray dose at the optimum image quality. The hospital's imaging technologists also use the Philips DoseAware system to carefully monitor X-ray dosing to ensure each patient gets just the right amount to produce a quality image, reducing the need for retakes.

 

This publication does not constitute professional medical advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this material. If you have medical questions, consult your medical professional. Images may be from one or more of these sources: ©Thinkstock, ©iStock, ©Fotolia. ©2012 Priority Integrated Marketing | priorityresults.com
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