New Advanced CT Scanner Helping to Diagnose Certain Diseases Earlier and Offer More Effective Treatment


Patients can expect shorter and more definitive exams Pointe Coupee General Hospital announced today the addition of a state-of-the-art multi-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner to their facility. The new Brilliance CT scanner from Philips Medical Systems features advanced technology that produces split-second high quality images. This technology permits doctors to see more anatomical detail in a fraction of the time compared to the amount of time needed for other diagnostic tests.

With this new CT scanner, physicians will be able to more effectively detect and treat a wide range of life threatening illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease. The possibility of discovering disease during the early stages allows for a wider array of effective available treatment options. In addition the scanner guides the physicians in making accurate diagnoses, and recommending appropriate treatments for their patients. The unmatched speed and sub-millimeter detail of the new CT scanner will also contribute to more rapid assessment and decision making in trauma cases, where physicians may have to make life and death decisions within minutes.

Chad Olinde, Hospital Administrator, was quoted as making the following statement regarding the new scanner, “The extensive image information we obtain from the Brilliance CT scanner can be used to generate very detailed 3D images which can be used for diagnosis purposes. The images can also be shared very quickly with referring physicians and surgeons, when needed, for pre-surgical planning and for treatment evaluation and follow up.”

Our new Brilliance scanner features unique technology that ensures we get exceptional images with a significantly lower X-ray dose to the patient. And, it has specific built-in pediatric protocols that further minimizes the dose to children
— Dr. Robert Trahan, Radiologist

A CT scan produces a cross-sectional image of the human anatomy which helps the clinician to rule out or confirm the presence of certain diseases, and in some cases to evaluate the extent of injuries to a trauma patient, such as someone involved in an automobile accident. During the non-invasive test, the patient is placed on a table and moved incrementally through the squared off donut-shaped scanner while an X-ray beam is projected through cross sections of their anatomy. The X-ray energy passes through the patient and is recorded on electronic detectors in the scanner. This information is then sent to a specialized computer that reconstructs the information into individual slices and combines them sequentially into a comprehensive volume image of the entire area scanned. The thinner the slices, the more revealing the detail is in the resulting images, and the more definitive the exam results.

The new CT scan utilizes a significantly lower amount of X-ray energy. “While we need the critical anatomical information we get from a CT scan, we always want to limit the X-ray dose to the patient to the absolute minimum possible, especially for children,” says Dr. Robert Trahan, Radiologist. “Our new Brilliance scanner features unique technology that ensures we get exceptional images with a significantly lower dose to the patient. And, it has specific built-in pediatric protocols that further minimizes the dose to children,” according to Dr. Trahan.

Patients needing a CT scan will find that the hospital’s new scanner offers a much more pleasant experience. No hospital stay is required and with the much faster scan times patients will usually be asked to carry out one brief breath hold during each scan.

“Older patients and those with breathing difficulties or some other distress will really appreciate the shorter exams,” says Tess Jarreau, Director of Radiology. “We’ll have them in and out much faster, and their doctors will be able to access detailed, definitive results within minutes.”

Another advantage the hospital anticipates is the ability to provide all patients with a CT scan option. The new Brilliance scanner has a table weight capacity of up to 440 pounds (200 kg).

“In the past, being able to handle some larger patients was sometimes a challenge, because most equipment simply can’t accommodate them,” says Ms. Jarreau. “With the Brilliance CT, we can handle the additional body weight, and those patients will be able to benefit from this great diagnostic technology as well.”

The price of the scanner exceeded $600,000 and is part of the Health Service District Board’s commitment to keep pace with advances in the medical community. Pointe Coupee General Hospital is pleased to be able to offer this important innovation in healthcare to its patients. Patient referrals may be made by calling (225) 638-5703.

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