Cardiac patient Lynette Pullen is prepared for her CT scan by Friendly Society Hospital nurse Cathy Rehbein. Photo: Max Fleet cts0402c
Cardiac patient Lynette Pullen is prepared for her CT scan by Friendly Society Hospital nurse Cathy Rehbein. Photo: Max Fleet cts0402c

New machine saves time, lives

WHEN Lynette Pullen recently had a CT scan of her heart, the procedure took hours.

But thanks to new equipment, the same test yesterday took only five minutes.

Bundaberg Medical Imaging, at the Friendly Society Hospital, recently bought a $1.1 million 128-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner — one of four in Queensland.

“When they used to do it, they would inject things into the groin and you had to lie flat for four hours. This time it is in the arm, you go in and come out, sit with a cup of tea and go home,” Ms Pullen said.

The 67-year-old North Bundaberg resident said she was nervous about the test, but that was because she “did not like to wait”.

Cardiologist Hermann Whittmer said the new machine provided clear images at a faster speed and with less radiation exposure.

“It reconstructs the artery in 3D so you can have a good look at what is happening,” he said.

Dr Whittmer said the technology did have its limitations, but would be a valuable investment for the region.

“We do not have to send people to Brisbane for a five-minute test, which will save patients train fares and hotel costs,” he said.

Bundaberg Medical Imaging chief radiographer Greg Menzies said the machine could also be adapted to test patients for other diseases.

“It also has other features which can help in management of stroke victims and also software packages which help detect cancer,” he said.



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