By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
A new medical diagnostic tool is now up and running at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg and will help the facility to continue to deliver the finest treatment and care to the state’s regional veterans.
The new state-of-the-art 128 Slice Computer Tomography (CT) Scanner replaced the 64 Slice CT scanner that has been in use since 2008. With the new higher resolution image of the new diagnostic unit, results produced are “a significantly enhanced capability for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of our veterans, often preventing the need for invasive surgery,” said Wesley R. Walls, public affairs officer at the Center.
CT scanners are vital tools in diagnosing and tracking illness, conditions and injuries, Walls explained.
The CT scanner is used to help medical providers diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures, and pinpoint the location of a tumor, infection, or blood clots, Walls reported. It is also used to guide providers in conducting procedures such as surgeries, biopsies and radiation therapy. More uses include: detecting and monitoring diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodule and liver masses, internal injuries and internal bleeding.
In addition to creating a higher resolution image, the new 128 CT scanner poses less negative radiation effects.
“Radiation is a little less,” said Jeannine Romano, Imaging Services supervisor at the Center. “The scan times are a little quicker. And the radiation dose is able to be reduced by at least 10 percent.”
Romano said many of their veterans want to learn about the brand new piece of equipment when they come in for their scanning, and the staff is eager to answer any questions they pose. “Some patients are very interested in it,” she said. “Our staff is very proud to relay that to the patients.”
She added that not only is the new unit state-of-the-art, but so is the Diagnostic Service staff. “We are competitive with any medical center in the area, in both equipment and staff,” Romano said. “Only advanced nationally certified technologists complete the process. With the addition of the 128 Slice CT, we are maintaining our commitment to provide the best possible service to our veterans.”
Walls said the transition from the old scanner to the new one was a six-week project from Dec. 15 of last year to Jan. 20. He explained the VA Center had a collaboration for continuity of treatment and care for the veterans with United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.
“This was a seamless transition,” Walls said. “There was no delay in patient care. This new equipment is part of our commitment to bring the best quality of treatment and care to those who served.”
On average, the VA Medical Center performs 6,000 scans each year.