Hospital X-rays go digital

FAIRFIELD Hospital's radiology unit has upgraded from traditional photographic film to digital imaging.

The new method was introduced through the installation of a $560,000 digital fluoroscopy X-ray machine.

Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan, who launched the new machine on Friday, said it would enable faster diagnostic results for patients.

Fairfield Hospital's radiology manager Suresh Raju said the machine would "significantly reduce patient waiting times".

"This means we don't have to wait for a film to be developed and can preview and access images immediately," he said.

"The machine also has a wider dynamic range which enhances the overall display of the image.

"Additionally, less radiation can be used compared to conventional radiography making it even safer for patients."

Speech pathology manager Maigen Harradine said: "We use video fluoroscopy for patients who have problems swallowing, including aged care patients, patients recovering from a stroke, respiratory illness or those undergoing cancer treatments.

"Previously we have had to accompany patients to other hospitals to do this procedure."

Acting general manager Karen Becker said Fairfield Hospital performed about 27,000 X-ray examinations each year.

The machine has been fully operational since August.

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