Renaissance Ultrasound Blog

April 10, 2010

GE’s Logiq E9 Improves Interventional Procedures

GE showcased their new volume navigation technology on the GE Logiq E9 at the Society of Interventional Radiology.  The needle features a highly sensitive electromagnetic tip which improves accuracy and avoidance of key anatomy.

A company representative states “LOGIQ E9’s advanced needle tracking can now help medical professionals utilize ultrasound during in-plane and challenging out-of-plane interventional procedures,” said Brian McEathron, general manager of General Imaging Ultrasound, GE Healthcare. “This can reduce time, limit repeat procedures, improve outcomes and result in a better overall patient experience.”

In addition, “Before the skin is even penetrated, the LOGIQ E9’s advanced technology projects the path to the target, helping to plan the optimal angle and point of entry. During the procedure, the system displays the needle’s position in real-time graphics that are overlaid on the image of the scan plane. The trajectory can then be monitored as it progresses toward the target.”

To read more about the GE Logiq 9 ultrasound system click here

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April 2, 2010

Doctor Loses License: Blames Faulty Ultrasound System

A doctor in Sarasota, FL chose to try a complicated  procedure on a patient which was not only risky,but also one he had never performed before – yet he blames the mistake on faulty ultrasound equipment.

“According to an administrative complaint, four years ago Dr. Matthew Kachinas decided to try a procedure called selective fetal reduction, which he never before performed.

State officials said last week at Kachinas’s hearing in Tampa that during the procedure, which was on a woman carrying twins, a healthy one and one with signs of Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect, he aborted the wrong fetus.”

“He blamed faulty ultrasound equipment for his error.”

This is a tragic story for the patient and the family, but as professionals in the ultrasound industry, let’s learn from this mistake (provided nobody performs a risky procedure he is not trained in doing).

If you purchase refurbished ultrasound equipment, make sure you purchase from a reputable company who continues to answer your phone calls post-sale!  The equipment should also come with a standard 90 day warranty with an option to purchase a service contract.  There are several excellent service-related companies who employ former OEM service engineers who know the equipment inside and out.  One such company is Unisyn Medical, located in Golden, CO with depots and engineers across the country.  There is no reason not to have a service contract on your equipment and to get annual inspections, called PMs – preventive maintenance – you prevent something from going wrong or missing/dead elements in a transducer that need to be fixed for better image quality (having a transducer that does not fire at 100% degrades your image and you can lose valuable information).

Next is quality, system-specific ultrasound training, buying refurbished equipment is a great way to save some money, but you need to be trained on how to utilize all of the software features and technology in addition to specific clinical applications.  Our training sessions are customized to the system being used and the staff’s experience level.  When learning a new clinical application a full day will be spent doing lecture and hands-on scanning with CMEs provided from the SDMS.

Granted, the doctor performed a very complex procedure which is beyond Renaissance’s scope, but it is imperative that health care professionals be properly trained on ultrasound equipment and clinical applications to ensure the best patient care possible.  This includes servicing the equipment before something goes wrong!

To read more about the doctor, click here.

March 6, 2010

Ultrasound System Training – Who Needs it?

So… somebody decided to purchase a refurbished ultrasound system (better known as used equipment), it was within the budget, it came with a 90 day warranty, and the user thought “How hard can this be? I’ve been scanning for years with a different system, but they’re all the same, right?” Well, no, not really.  I think that buying an ultrasound system from a reputable reseller is often a good idea when budgets are tight, it’s kind of like buying a new vs. a used car, new things drop in value as soon as they are bought so often you can get a relatively new ultrasound system for a great price.  However, if you buy a system that nobody has scanned on before you are not maximizing that investment and getting the most out of its features.

Many of the systems have the same types of general features such as image optimization, but do you know where that knob/button is and how best to utilize it to capture the image?  What about the DICOM features on the system?  What about learning how to start doing aortas or stress in a cardiology practice?  What if you are now scanning on a different version (we call them revision levels) of an ultrasound system, do you know what’s the same or what has changed?

Take me to Renaissance System Training!

Nobody has time to sit down and read the manual (if you even got one with your system delivery), so rely on an expert to come to your site and teach you about that newly acquired ultrasound system so that you can begin taking better images resulting in better diagnoses.

Now… if only someone could show me how to change the clock in my used SUV…

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