Story by Kerri Robins; photo courtesy of Colleen Hansen
Sometimes, even in health care, the accessories can be just as important as the item they accessorize.
Such is the case for the Claresholm & District Health Foundation, which is buying a specialized X-ray table for patients to lie on during procedures. The $17,900 custom bed also comes with a pair of lead aprons with neck shields, which cost $375 each.
The table and aprons are required equipment; they accompany the C-arm mobile fluoroscopy unit that creates moving X-rays to help physicians to pinpoint accurate joint-injection sites. The C-arm is surplus equipment from the Peter Lougheed Centre.
Colleen Hansen, Director of Urban Community and Rural Diagnostic Imaging with Alberta Health Services (AHS), says the table is far more than just something to lie on.
“The table allows for patients to lie comfortably while the physician administers joint injections like a steroid or other medication. The carbon-fibre tabletop has no internal cross bars and is relatively penetrable by X-rays, so physicians have an unobstructed view of the joint,” says Hansen.
“The nice thing about the table is the two-inch-thick table padding and three adjustable straps, with hook-and-loop fastening, that provide patient comfort and stability. And it’s on wheels for easy manoeuvrability and is adjustable for different heights.”
The lead aprons are a crucial accessory, for both the patients and for health care staff who administer injections.
“While the patient is exposed to a small amount of radiation during their procedure, the health care staff administering injections are exposed more often,” adds Hansen, “so it’s really nice to have the foundation include the purchase of the lead aprons.”
Hansen expects the table and C-arm mobile fluoroscopy unit will be used 20 to 30 times per month.
Art Scott, Chair of the Claresholm & District Health Foundation, says he’s pleased to buy the C-arm accessories.
“We were happy to purchase the equipment necessary to accompany the C-arm,” he says, “because now our patients can stay in the community to have these injections, instead of having to travel to Calgary or Lethbridge.”