CT Open House Will Introduce Local Residents to Latest Technology

An accurate diagnosis is key to any health concern, and having access to sophisticated medical technology is vital.

Humboldt General Hospital Administrative Director of Imaging Pam Wickkiser said with the purchase of the LightSpeed VCT at Humboldt General Hospital, greater peace of mind is here.

"This is all about higher quality for greater confidence," she said.

Local residents will have the chance to see the new machine up close and personal during a CT Open House planned for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10, in the HGH Radiology Department.

"This CT scanner is about to revolutionize local non-invasive diagnosis," said Wickkiser, "and we want everyone to have the chance to see its capabilities."

The open house will include tours, refreshments, giveaways and a coupon for a free DXA Body Composition Scan for everyone who attends.

The DXA Body Composition Scan measures bone, fat and muscle with pinpoint accuracy. In mere minutes, patients can assess their total body fat percentage, monitor the effectiveness of fitness and training efforts, evaluate bone density and set and track goals for fitness and weight loss.

The Humboldt County Hospital District Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the 128-Slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner at its August 27, 2013 meeting. The new machine can scan the entire body in seconds and provide incredibly sharp 3D images of any organ.

"Slice" refers to the number of images a machine can produce in mere seconds. For instance, a 128-slice scanner produces 128 images per rotation. In real-life terms, said Wickkiser, this means the hospital's new scanner can provide a comprehensive view of the coronary arteries in less than five heartbeats.

Plus, the 128-Slice CT delivers non-superimposed and cross-sectional images of the body, which can show smaller contrast differences than conventional x-ray images. Wickkiser said this allows better visualization of differing soft-tissue regions, which could otherwise not be visualized satisfactorily.

Board members accepted GE's bid for $474,989; in all, the hospital board approved $657,286 for the project, which included funding for a minor remodel of the CT suite, rental of a mobile CT unit until the project's completion, and a major electrical upgrade from Nevada Energy.

"This was a big investment for our department and for our hospital," said Wickkiser, "but we know our patients and our physicians will be thrilled with this machine's capabilities."

For more information on the CT Open House scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10, in the HGH Radiology Department, please call (775) 623-5222, ext. 1131, or email pwick@hghospital.ws.