Friday, May 09, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
The Rs. 1.50-crore machine, the first ever to be installed in the Government sector, had been in limbo for the second time in a week, resulting in the piling up of investigation requests from patients in the Casualty as well as in-patients in the wards.
According to hospital sources, the software error in the sophisticated machine had been set aright by a service engineer last week before the machine developed a similar problem once again. Though the machine is now working, doctors and diagnosticians are keeping their finger crossed over a recurrence of trouble.
Sources at the MCH attribute the primary reason for the machine frequently developing snags to the overloading of the state-of-the-art equipment. Though the tube usually carries a guarantee for 40,000 images, the radiotherapy unit is often forced to stretch the number of scans taken on a single tube to almost 1.50 lakh images a year following patient demand.
In fact, there have been instances when the machine remained in a state of dysfunction for months together owing to the delay in procuring a tube replacement.
Request for head scans of accident victims reporting at the Casualty form the bulk of the investigative procedures, doctors say. The radiotherapy unit also undertakes body, chest and abdomen scans besides CT angiography.
As far as diagnosticians are concerned, a CT scan for a patient at the Medical College would involve scientific, though time-consuming, procedures. For instance, as many as 50 images are exhausted for a routine request for an abdomen scan. The cross-sections of an abdomen are taken at three levels: plain contrast, oral contrast and ultra violet contrast.
This, doctors say, could also contribute to burnout of the machine, which is turning out to be the only refuge for poor patients, especially in the context of the fleecing associated with private scan centres.
``A second machine that will ease the load on the existing equipment as well as provide uninterrupted diagnostic service to patients is the only viable option,'' a senior MCH administrator said.
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