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Technology upgraded with hospital’s ultrasound unit

Lake District Hospital’s active efforts in keeping up with the technological times is reflected in its recent upgrade to a new ultrasound unit.

The new digital equipment, a General Electric Logiq E9 unit, arrived this past summer, said Radiology Mgr. Gary Arntz, and has afforded a vast improvement in digital imagery over the equipment it replaced.

“Image quality is so much better than our old (unit),” LDH Vascular Echocardiography Technician Danette Owens said, noting that the radiology department opted to keep the old machine as a back-up unit.

Along with improved resolution, the new machine is also considerably faster in its processing capabilities, including data storage and sharing of imagery with radiologists and other specialists.

Arntz said that the new machine’s primary use is for echocardiography diagnosis in looking for heart-related issues, but it can also be used for a multitude of other needs.

Given that Owens is certified in echocardiography services, this is one more service that is provided locally and thereby saves patients travel time.

For obstetric/gynecological ultrasounds, three-dimensional images of the baby’s or specific body parts are possible, Arntz said.

The department’s old machine, though only five or six years old, was being phased out at the time of its purchase but served the hospital’s needs for the duration.

“It was a good machine for what we had,” Arntz said.

Owens noted that when the time came to shop out a new machine, a key factor was in broad capabilities due to limited patient volume. Arntz said that the raw data captured by the unit can be manipulated as needed before being sent to a radiologist.  Some of these techniques might include brightening or darkening the image, as well as labeling.

Though primarily known for baby ultrasound imagery and heart analysis, ultrasound machines are also utilized for vascular examinations in studying arteries and veins, abdomen imagery (such as kidneys and liver), and also some soft tissue examinations, such as a breast ultrasound as a follow-up to mammograms.

“The best thing is its non-invasive, and there’s no radiation to it,” Arntz said.

For more information, contact Lake District Hospital at 541-947-2114.

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