If you’re like most medical imaging departments, your CT Scanner is a real workhorse. The last thing you want is for your CT Scanner to break down. That brings up the question: is there a way that you can tell your CT Scanner is having issues before it breaks down completely? Yes, there are actually quite a few warning signs that your imaging department team members or engineers can watch out for.
Are You Experiencing A Lot of Warnings and Errors?
If your CT Scanner is serving up a lot of Warning and Error messages, chances are it’s going to fail sooner than later. A field engineer can do a site visit and look back several months in the event log. They can evaluate the types of errors and warning messages and how often they are occurring. That data will also indicate which part of the CT system might be failing so the engineer or technician can know where to start troubleshooting.
Talk To Users
Be sure to talk to the staff that uses your CT Scanning equipment often. Make sure they know to notify you if they are experiencing glitches or if scans start aborting. These signs can signify that there’s an issue with the X-ray system, generator, tube or one of the boards.
Listen Closely To Your Equipment
An X-ray tube is the most expensive part of the CT Scanner. It’s also the most important. Unfortunately, there aren’t visual signs that can warn you that it’s about to break down. However, listen closely. There can be sounds that occur while the anode rotates that will let you know it’s about to fail. Pay attention to humming or scraping sounds. If you hear the anode spinning even after the scan is completed, contact an engineer. There’s probably an issue with the housing of the X-ray tube.
Are Your Carbon Brushes Worn Out?
The carbon brushes for the slip-ring of a CT Scanner can also fail. If they are worn out, they could abort a scan because it’s arcing or experiencing issues. It can definitely have a negative impact on the quality of the image. Make sure the brushes and slip-ring are inspected periodically in order to avoid a maintenance issue. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way.
Are There Cooling Issues?
Are you noticing a change in the frequency of cooling delays? That could be a sign that your system is overheating. Make sure you alert engineers to any unusual behavior in how your CT Scanner is behaving.
Can You Prevent System Failures?
There are other things you can do to reduce failures in your CT Scanner.
- Make sure you CT Scanning room is properly maintained. Dust and other contaminants can get inside the equipment and cause issues.
- Older Siemens CT Scanners have built-in humidifiers but newer models don’t. That means the room settings need to be maintained and monitored.
- Make sure you perform preventative maintenance on a regular basis. Yes, it’s time intensive and challenging, but it can help keep your scanner up and running. Make sure your system is clean and parts are lubricated.
Talk To An Expert
Do you have questions about maintenance issues or concerns with your Siemens CT Scanner? Don’t hesitate to talk to the experts at Atlantis Worldwide. Is it time for a new CT Scanner? Oftentimes we find that a certified refurbished system can provide the performance and warranties you want, for a much lower price point. We’ve been helping hospitals, veterinary practices, healthcare clinics and urgent care centers with their medical imaging needs for more than 28 years and would be happy to help you, too.
Follow Atlantis Worldwide on Twitter: @AtlantisLLC
Other blogs you may have missed:
- Is Your CT Tube About To Fail?
- Installing a CT Scanner: What You Need to Know
- Should your business lease or buy medical imaging equipment?
- What Radiographers Have To Say About COVID-19
- Free CT Resources
Meet the author: Vikki Harmonay