New hospital scanner uses best of technology

23:40, Jul 29 2012
Christchurch Hospital
WATCHING BRIEF: Denis Hely sits in a control room overlooking fellow radiation technologists as they demonstrate how Christchurch Hospital's new computed tomography scanner works.

Christchurch Hospital patients can now access one of the most advanced computed tomography scanners in the world.

The $2 million Siemens Somatom Definition Flash CT scanner was officially blessed at the hospital yesterday.

CT scanning is a medical imaging procedure using X-rays and a computer to produce two-dimensional slices in selected areas of the body.

About 20,000 of these scans are performed at the hospital each year.

Hospital consultant radiologist Sharyn Macdonald said the two-tonne machine used some of the best technology in the world.

"Some scans can be completed in a fraction of a second, which is a huge advantage for imaging unwell patients," she said.

"It can also freeze the motion of the heart so that the cardiac vessels can clearly be seen.

"Another key feature of the machine is a special technique called dual-energy scanning, which can give extra information when imaging the brain in stroke patients and can also be used to determine what type of kidney stones a patient has."

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