Lifestyle

St. Elizabeth Hospital will feature enhanced diagnostic imaging capabilities

State-of-the-art technology is visible throughout St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, the community’s new hospital that will open for patient care on Feb. 2.

This is especially true in the diagnostic imaging department where patients will benefit from sophisticated imaging and diagnostic technologies never before available on the Enumclaw Plateau. Our new equipment will produce images with greater clarity and more detail than ever.

Diagnostic imaging services at St. Elizabeth will include X-rays, digital mammograms, nuclear medicine, fluoroscopy, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.

CT scans are helpful in diagnosing muscle and bone disorders, locating tumors and blood clots, detecting internal bleeding and monitoring cancer and heart disease. The advanced imaging technologies at St. Elizabeth include the 64-slice Toshiba CT scanner. Within seconds, this unit produces 64 cross-sectional images per rotation that a computer converts to high-resolution, three-dimensional images. Radiologists can magnify any part of these images and even use color to better view the images from multiple angles.

Additionally, the diagnostic imaging department at St. Elizabeth will feature the Toshiba Titan 1.5 Tesla MRI unit. Magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio-wave energy to take pictures of organs inside the body and is helpful in locating: tumors or bleeding in the brain; damage to the heart or lungs; bulges in disks of the spine; or problems in the bones and joints. An MRI often obtains different information than is possible with CT scans or traditional X-rays.

Importantly, the wide opening of the Toshiba MRI machine at St. Elizabeth will comfortably accommodate larger patients. This feature should also help lessen anxiety for those who are claustrophobic.

At the new hospital, we will also use a portable digital radiology (X-ray) machine that the staff can quietly move between departments and patient rooms. Images obtained by this unit will then be examined by experts through a secure electronic portal from anywhere in the hospital, allowing for more-rapid diagnoses of our patients’ conditions.

Richard Rosser is manager of diagnostic imaging services at Enumclaw Regional Hospital, which will be replaced by St. Elizabeth Hospital on Feb. 2. To schedule a digital mammogram at St. Elizabeth, call 360-802-3223 or 360-802-3224. Both hospitals are part of the Franciscan Health System.

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