By Ansley Franco
Shelby Baptist Medical Center has recently acquired several new pieces of medical technology that will improve patient care.
The upgrade began at the end of September, when the hospital installed a new Siemens 256 Slice CT Scanner. “It’s the latest and greatest and a very quick-speed CT scanner,” Diane Baribeau, director of imaging services at Shelby, said. “We also got the cardiac package on the machine which allows us to do a lot of pre-testing on patients’ hearts. We can actually see the entire heart on the scan now, which we weren’t able to do with other scanners.”
The device is capable of capturing three-dimensional images of the entire heart in only two heartbeats, which means that more cardiac patients, including people with a fast heart rate who were previously unable to receive a beta blocker to slow it down, can now undergo a CT scan. This will increase the cardiac patient population at Shelby. Likewise, because the new CT Scanner is much faster than the older machine at Shelby, the imaging department is able to do more procedures.
The hospital also added a Philips Azurion system to the Cath Lab. The Philips Azurion is an image-guided therapy system that allows cardiology teams to perform a range of procedures from routine to more challenging cardiac interventions. The system has a 12-inch flat detector that provides high-resolution imaging over a large field of view, which allows clinicians to visualize the aortic valve and a significant portion of the aortic arch or the entire coronary tree in a single view.
The Azurion has lower radiation exposure and incorporates StentBoost technology which results in better image quality. “When we’re looking at the monitor, the images are huge,” said Crystal Holtzapfel, the cath lab manager for non-invasive and invasive cardiology. “This makes it so much easier to see what we’re working on. Also, we can now perform CT scans on the neck and head arteries while in the room, which is pretty cool. We’ve never had that before.”
Another addition to the Shelby Baptist Medical Center is the Mako robotic surgery system. “The Mako is designed to help the surgeon do a more precise replacement of the knee joint and the hip joint,” said Paula Pool, director of surgical services.
Before hip or knee surgery, the patients undergo a CAT scan. The imaging from the scan is then integrated into the Mako robotic arm, allowing the surgeon to control the robot to make clear cuts in the bone where the arthritis is present.
“It makes a very precise cut for the implant to fit beautifully down into the section where they’re designed to be placed. So there’s very little margin for error like making the cuts too big or too hard, the left or the right,” Pool said. “If the patient were to move or slide any on during the procedure, the robot knows exactly where the implant is supposed to go based on those images. This system is particularly beneficial for our hospital given our high volume of knee and hip replacements. Medical professionals using the robot underwent additional training to understand the information within the Mako and how to align that with the patient’s anatomy. To be able to offer this state of the art of equipment is going to be invaluable to our patients.”
Shelby Baptist plans to continue improving the facility’s capabilities. In the first quarter of 2024, the medical center will begin the replacement of the second cath lab.