New scanners fast-track autopsies

| February 7, 2008

Two state-of-the-art scanning machines for the city’s forensic pathology services laboratories that will drastically cut time spent on autopsies were unveiled by Health MEC Pierre Uys.

The Lodox Statscan machines at laboratories at Salt River and Tygerberg cost R5,4-million and form part of the provincial Department of Health’s R161-million budget for new equipment in this financial year.

Uys said the Lodox Statscan machines were low-dosage digitalradiography equipment, designed specifically to meet the needs of forensic pathology, as well as emergency centres.

The machines are able to provide scans of both bone and soft tissue, useful in the diagnosis of a wide range of traumatic injuries.

Full-body x-rays can be completed in 13 seconds, and non-specialised personnel are now able to perform procedures rapidly, at a much-reduced risk of radiation exposure.

They are particularly useful for detecting bullets, shrapnel, fractures and foreign objects which would previously not have been picked up.

The images are digital, so they can be transferred across a computer network, rotated and manipulated without loss in quality. There is also no need for x-ray film or cartridges, thereby reducing costs.

"Due to the fact that the body can be scanned and the image displayed within one minute, the Lodox Statscan will bring about less invasive work required on the body, as the location of foreign objects… will be expedited. Vital evidence previously undetected will assist with criminal proceedings and, in some instances, assist with the identification of the deceased," said Uys.

  • This article was originally published on page 6 of The Cape Times on December 07, 2007

Category: Digital Pathology News, In-vivo

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