Is your C-Arm performing perfectly? Or, are you experiencing poor image quality, communication errors or other issues? The experts at Atlantis Worldwide put together this list of the most common C-Arm problems and how to solve them.
- The X-ray tube could be damaged or pitted
- The Image Intensifier might be damaged.
- Charger failure
- Hard drives may be full or need replacing
- Communication error
In addition to these problems, you could have minor issues, which can include:
- Switches failing
- C-Arm lock up
- Your Laser targeting device needs adjustments
- Insulation around the cables could be degrading
- Residue might have been imbedded in the components
It All Starts with A Basic C-Arm Diagnosis
If you want to get to the bottom on your C-Arm image quality issues, be sure to perform basic diagnosis. It pretty easy, if you follow these steps:
- If the anatomy being imaged is above or below the iso-center of the image intensifier, it can give you high contrast or grainy images. By simply adjusting the height of the C-Arm, the image quality can be improved.
- If your C-Arm is positioned near varying tissue densities, the Automatic Exposure Control will adjust to both densities at the same time which can cause a grainy or high contrast image. Try centering the tube to the area that is most dense first, then wait for the AEC to adjust to the body section being imaged.
- Use the (flouro +) boost function when imaging a dense body section like a lateral hip joint. Position the C-Arm to the densest area of the body first, like the L5-S1. Wait for the brightness/contrast to adjust and then move to the part being imaged.
- You can also try re-booting the C-Arm. Just turn it off, count to 10 and then restart the unit.
What To Look For While Diagnosing Your C-Arm
Are your images grainy, dark or light? Are the edges sharp or blurry? Is there a good range of whites, grays and blacks? Does your C-Arm render objects with good tonal value? If not try this:
- Use manual controls to adjust the contrast or brightness
- Try using the edge enhancement feature
- Attempt a manual technique
If these steps don’t solve your image issues, it’s time to call in a professional for a C-Arm diagnosis.
Extend The Life of Your C-Arm
C-Arms aren’t cheap. That’s why you’ll want to take these five steps to keep your up and running for a long time.
- Keep your batteries charged by keeping your C-Arm plugged in even when it’s not being used. You’ll get better technique with full generator batteries.
- Have a Service Engineer perform preventative maintenance every year. This will help you recognize any developing issues, maintain solid image quality and catch little problems before they become big ones. Inspect the brakes, cables, wheels and all mechanical assemblies.
- Use protective C-Arm drapes to prevent blood and human bio from seeping through covers into the tube and electronics.
- Clean the keyboard, C-Arm Covers, tube, image intensifier and power cables regularly. And don’t forget to check and clean the fan filters. This can prevent dust in the electrical components. Be sure to check the C-Arm wheels and monitor cart wheels for sutures and other items that can get stuck. This can affect drivability and braking.
- Protect your monitors by adjusting the sleep mode setting. A short sleep mode is better for units with CRT monitors since images can get burned in after a system stays on for long periods of time.
Talk To An Expert
Is your C-Arm still performing well for you? If not, talk to the experts at Atlantis Worldwide. Oftentimes you can find a used or refurbished C-Arm that delivers great performance at a much lower price point—and you still get a terrific warranty. Or, if you’ve outgrown your C-Arm, talk to Atlantis Worldwide about trading in or selling your current one. We’re here to help.
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About the author: Vikki Harmonay