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Faster, Safer CT Exams; Low-Dose CT Scanners at Missouri Baptist Medical Center Offer 30 to 68 Percent Less Radiation


July 9, 2012 - ST. LOUIS, MO

Recognizing the importance of lowering radiation doses during medical care, Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis is investing $3.2 million to convert its entire Computed Tomography (CT) scanner platform to advanced low-dose technology. Advances in medical imaging technology have made it possible to produce highly accurate images using very low radiation doses.

With patient and staff safety a priority, Missouri Baptist has chosen to only provide low-dose CT scanning.

The new technology allows dose shield to actively manage radiation dose during exams, and essentially limit excess radiation for patients. "Many scans will be done at a radiation dose of 30 percent to 68 percent less than was possible on older scanners including most scanners available at other facilities in the area," said John Niemeyer, MD, chief of Radiology. "We now can perform CT using thin sections that will allow high resolution reconstructions in any plane, greatly enhancing the quality of the images available for every patient."

Low-dose scanners provide faster scanning, sometimes in half the time, which in turn speeds treatment and diagnosis. The 128-slice CT can scan from the top of the head to the tip of the toes in 30 seconds.

These scanners are suited for all patients, from small children to larger adults, and are so fast that they provide superior image quality even with normal body motion, such as blood flow and breathing.

"The 128-slice scanner will reduce scan times dramatically, resulting in improved patient comfort, especially important in our sickest patients," said Dr. Niemeyer. "This technology significantly upgrades our ability to perform high quality CT angiography, especially of the coronary arteries. I am extremely pleased that BJC made this commitment to provide the highest quality and lowest dose CT available to every patient at Missouri Baptist Medical Center."

Three of the four Siemens SOMATOM Definition AS CT Scanners have been installed and are in use. Installation of the remaining scanner is expected to be completed by July 27th. Three scanners will be located on the main campus at Missouri Baptist Medical Center and one scanner at its Outpatient Center in Sunset Hills.

Missouri Baptist is a member of BJC HealthCare, one of the largest nonprofit healthcare organizations in the U.S.

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