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Hospital installs new internal imaging cameras
Tech. Sgt. Richard Coombs, nuclear medicine Phase II instructor, demonstrates the operation of one of the cameras using Phase II student Tech. Sgt. Michele Chapman as a simulated patient. He noted that a major improvement with the upgrade is the central control area allowing the controller to observe both cameras. In the past, there were two separate control rooms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)
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Hospital installs new internal imaging cameras

Posted 1/5/2011   Updated 1/5/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Steve Pivnick
81st Medical Group Public Affairs


1/5/2011 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The 81st Medical Group has purchased and installed two new nuclear medicine imaging cameras.

Valued at nearly $2.1 million, the cameras place Keesler among the leaders in nuclear medicine imaging technology and provide improved diagnostic testing capability for nearly 45,000 authorized beneficiaries.

Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioactive isotopes that are introduced into the body to image various organs and systems. The devices the cameras replaced were close to 10 years old and at the end of their service life.

Master Sgt. Sydney Dyche, 81st Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron diagnostic imaging flight chief, said, "Ten years in medical imaging technology is a lifetime -- the technology changes so quickly. These devices give us significantly enhanced capabilities and provide better diagnostic information to our radiologists and clinicians. The 81st MDG Hospital now has the most technologically advanced gamma cameras on the Gulf Coast.

"The cameras use computed tomography fusion and attenuation correction applications, which provide our physicians with improved quality and capabilities," Sergeant Dyche continued. "The shorter exam time offers greater patient comfort, gives us the ability to scan more patients per day and increases appointment availability."

The installation project was several years in the making as various units were evaluated and plans reviewed. Construction began in July and was completed the last week of November. A medical physicist performed a week-long initial quality control and acceptance testing on the units, followed by applications training to instruct the staff on optimal use of the equipment.

Dec. 14, the department brought the cameras into full operation and began scanning patients. In addition, two nuclear medicine technologists are scheduled to attend a 40-hour course at the Philips Healthcare Training Center in Cleveland.



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