Delhi government is looking to procure bedside, mobile CT scan machines as an alternative to the traditional units, which are prone to frequent breakdowns.
These machines are particularly helpful during hospital emergencies, for quick CT scans in case of head injuries.
The mobile machines can be wheeled into hospital wards and ICUs to a patient’s bed. These are priced at around Rs 2-3 crore — about one third the cost of a traditional CT scan machine.
“The machine is helpful, especially in the case of critical patients. Instead of wheeling such patients around on stretchers, the machine can be take to their bedside. The new machines are more economical as well,” a senior official in the Health department said.
Sources said another problem in installing machines of the traditional kind was finding spaces that fulfil all necessary safety standards.
Getting clearances take a long time and this has delayed efforts to install new CT scan machines, the official said.
“At Guru Teg Bahadur(GTB) Hospital, we purchased a second CT scan machine, but could not use it for over a year. It took us that long to find a room meeting all safety standards,” the official said. For mobile machines, no radiation norms are mandated, but the manufacturers ensure the radiation specifications are within permissible levels.
Currently, AIIMS Trauma Centre is the only hospital which has a mobile CT scan machine.
Dr Deepak Aggarwal, consultant in neurosurgery at AIIMS Trauma Centre, said, “We have this machine for the past two years and we are planning to purchase one more. We have been doing scans of all our ICU patients at the bedside. It is much more convenient for the patient since we eliminate the need for intra-hospital transfers, especially since many of our head injury patients may not be conscious and some are on ventilators.”
The mobile machines, however, can only be used for head CT scans. “For whole body scanning, we still have to rely on stationary machines, but having mobile machines will help us streamline patients,” the official explained.
In the past year, CT scan machines at Delhi government’s Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital had broken down for over three months, forcing the hospital to enter into an arrangement with private clinics in the locality to help patients.
The machines at GB Pant and Lok Nayak hospitals in Central Delhi had also shut down intermittently over the past year.