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Friday, September 16, 2005 - New advanced CT scanner helping SJH Elmer Hospital
New advanced CT scanner helping SJH Elmer Hospital to diagnose certain diseases earlier and offer more effective treatment
Patients can expect shorter and more definitive exams 

 
ELMER , NJ (September 16) – South Jersey Healthcare Elmer Hospital announced today that they have added a state-of-the-art 16-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, permitting doctors to see more anatomical detail in a fraction of the time needed for other tests.

With this new CT scanner, SJH Elmer Hospital’s doctors will be able to more effectively detect and treat a range of life threatening illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease.  The possibility of discovering disease in an early stage, when a wider array of effective treatment options may be available, will help doctors make an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment for their patients. 

According to Betsy Miletta, SJH Elmer Hospital Radiology Manager, “We can use the extensive image information we get from the Brilliance CT scanner to generate very detailed 3D images which can be used for diagnosis and also shared very quickly with referring physicians and surgeons, where needed, for pre-surgical planning and for treatment evaluation and follow up.” 

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.

Patients needing a CT scan will find that SJH Elmer Hospital ’s new scanner offers a much more pleasant experience. Having your heart and coronary arteries evaluated using a CT scanner reduces the need for drugs to regulate the rhythm of the heart. And there is no hospital stay required. With 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 Miletta. “We’ll have them in and out much faster, and their doctors will be able to access detailed, definitive results within minutes.”

All CT scanners use X-rays, however the new Brilliance scanner uses a significantly lower amount of X-ray energy than many of the other CT systems on the market. 

“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 Miletta. “Our new Brilliance scanner features unique technology that ensures we get exceptional images with significantly lower dose to the patient. And, it has specific built-in pediatric protocols that further minimize the dose to children.”

Another advantage the hospital anticipates is the ability to provide more large patients with a CT scan option. The new Brilliance scanner has a table weight capacity of up to 440 lbs. 

“In the past, being able to handle some larger patients was sometimes a challenge, because most equipment simply can’t accommodate them,” says Miletta. “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.”

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 disease, 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.

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents.

SJH Elmer Hospital is pleased to be able to offer this important improvement in healthcare to its patients. For patient referrals, please call (856) 363-1550.  

For more information contact Betsy Miletta, SJH Elmer Hospital Radiology Manager at (856) 363-1550.

For additional information about Philips Medical Systems, contact Heidi Wilson at (978) 659-7302, or via email at Heidi.Wilson@philips.com.