Mobile Imaging Moves Outside Hospital Walls During COVID-19 Pandemic
Reading Time: 5 minutes read
Demand for mobile imaging surges as unlikely locations become urgent care facilities.
In response to the overwhelming and crushing need for critical care of patients infected with the coronavirus disease, government agencies, healthcare providers, the National Guard, and the Army Corps of Engineers are converting unlikely facilities into urgent care units. The unusual list of facilities in the United States includes convention centers, a parking garage in Nashville, CenturyLink Field – home to the Seattle Seahawks, a section of the famed Billie Jean King Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows in Queens, university dorms, Central Park, fairgrounds, hotels and motels, and abandoned hospitals in California and Maryland that have been shuttered for years. (1)
This scenario is being repeated throughout the world. London created a 4,000 bed makeshift hospital in 9 days; China converted an industrial park in Wuhan to a 4,500 bed hospital in a matter of weeks.
Included in the long list of necessary medical equipment to outfit the makeshift centers is mobile imaging equipment. Among RSNA’s guidelines for “Radiology Preparedness for COVID-19 Pandemic” is the use of portable imaging when possible (2). Portable imaging gives the flexibility to bring the X-ray exam to the patient, whether their bed is in the ICU, a convention center, or on a ship. This is especially important when distancing is needed to prevent the spread of infection.
“The Nano, with its sleek and smaller footprint, has been an amazing addition especially during this pandemic of COVID-19,” said Heather Damon-Pannone RT(R), Diagnostic Radiology Manager at the University of Maryland Hospital. “Due to the tight spaces in the patient rooms and the ante rooms on some of the units, it would be very difficult to maneuver a regular portable. It has been such a lifesaver that we ordered a second one so that we could have dedicated COVID-19 machines.”
Carestream is seeing an unprecedented demand for all of our mobile imaging systems that can be used for diagnosing patients for the coronavirus. In response to the increase in demand, we have added production lines, shifts, and workers to increase production. Our manufacturing plants and warehouses are operating at full capacity with employees putting in long hours and extra days to support the healthcare professionals who are on the front line of this exhausting fight. Likewise, our suppliers, partners, and our competitors are also putting in long hours and ramping up production to help support this humanitarian crisis.
Disinfecting imaging equipment
According to information from Infection Control Today, imaging equipment used to scan patients can be contaminated with the COVID-19 virus for up to nine days if the machines aren’t properly cleaned. The virus can stay active on metal, glass and plastic surfaces. (3) The ability to easily clean surfaces of portable imaging units is another reason that they are well suited to assist in the fight against the coronavirus, according to the American College of Radiology. (4)
Carestream customers can download disinfectant instructions for Carestream equipment here.
Some mobile units, like the DRX-Revolution, incorporate added features to help limit contamination. Shelves located in each of the detector slots, within the bin, allow users to safely place protective bags on detectors. Flush mounted displays limit fluid ingress and provide a smooth surface for easier disinfecting; and bar code scanners automatically input patient information when wristbands are scanned, allowing users to quickly start an exam with limited interaction between the patient and the equipment.
Katie Remis is the editor of Everything Rad. She is also Carestream’s Digital Media Manager. Reach her at Katie.Remis@Carestream.com
- DRX-Revolution Mobile
- Disinfectant Guidelines for Carestream Products
- Tips to Protect Your DR Detector
- Improving the Quality of Mobile Chest X-rays with SmartGrid Software
- Carestream Family of Mobile Imaging Solutions
- The Architects Newspaper; From parking garages to parks, these are the pop-up medical facilities of the COVID-19 pandemic
- RSNA Radiology Department Preparedness for COVID-19: Radiology Scientific Expert Panel
- Diagnostic Imaging: Disinfecting imaging equipment during COVID19 outbreak
- American College of Radiology: Recommendations for the Use of Chest Radiology and Computed Tomography (CT) for Suspected Covid-19 Infection