Ultrasound is one of the most useful tools in the healthcare system’s diagnostic arsenal. Ultrasound scans are performed for a number of reasons. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. It is used to help diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in the body’s internal organs and to examine a baby in pregnant women. It’s also used to help guide biopsies, diagnose heart conditions, identify location of blood clots, and assess damage after a heart attack. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.
Star Valley Health is fortunate to have two very accomplished ultrasound technologists, Jessica Jenkins and Elizabeth Orr. They do a fantastic job and perform a wide variety of scans.
Unfortunately, our nearly 13 year old ultrasound machine began having issues earlier this year. In spite of numerous attempts by field agents to repair it, it is unstable and goes down consistently in the middle of patient exams. This machine received its end of life letter two years ago, meaning that parts are no longer manufactured for this model. The field agents are finding it very difficult to keep this machine running.
The aged machine will be replaced with a new Hitachi 3D/4D ultrasound unit. The new machine is part of the CT replacement negotiation and will cost Star Valley Health $0. Normally it retails at $125,000. The most significant difference between 3D and 4D ultrasound is that 4D allows the ultrasound technologist to “live stream” video of images. 4D ultrasound is essentially 3D ultrasound in live motion. 3D and 4D ultrasound produces images of exceptional clarity by carefully shaping sound waves and precisely managing the resulting sound echos that are collected by the scanning probe. This technology provides images with extremely high sensitivity and high resolution.
Three- and four-dimensional imaging can play a role as a prenatal tool connecting parents with their fetus. The ultrasound probe can define the optimal image plane to automatically remove placenta or other unwanted tissue signals in front of the fetus, offering a clear surface-rendered fetal images.
Dual Gate Doppler are waveforms from two different locations during the same heart cycle. Measurements from two different waveforms can be useful in the diagnosis of arrhythmia.
Needless to say, we are super excited to have this high tech equipment. It is our plan to have the new ultrasound machine in our Radiology Department (same location as current ultrasound) by mid-January.