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August 6, 2018

Emergency Room: Go for CT Scans

Emergency Room: Go for CT Scans

The medical world is continually being enhanced thanks to technological inventions. One of the most famous and widely used technological inventions is the CT scan. You have probably heard of the CT scan before, or have even been asked to have one performed on you, but have no idea why, or what it means. We at Frontline ER would like to share information with you, our client.

What is a CT Scan?

The first step towards understanding a CT scan is actually knowing what it means. CT is an abbreviation for computerized tomography. This scan used computers and rotating x-rays to provide cross-sectional images of the body. Apart from improving the comfort of the patient, CT scans produce detailed images which are essential for a correct diagnosis. Frontline ER conducts CT scans on patients for a quick diagnosis.

Why Does Frontline ER Use CT Scans?

First, the CT scans allow physicians to look through tissue, with minimal invasion. CT scans are frequently used to evaluate the brain, spine, neck, chest, pelvis, abdomen, and sinuses. Once a patient is rushed into Frontline ER, a CT scan is the most likely test to ensure that all internal organs are assessed for any injuries, for immediate treatment.

Though both CT scans produce cross-sectional images of the body, they are different. The MRI uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce images, while the CT uses x-rays to produce images. People often have CT scans to elaborate abnormalities observed in ultrasounds or normal X-rays. Patients with cancer often have to undergo CT scans to check for disease progression, while symptoms such as dizziness and pain may also require CT scans.

A CT of the brain is used to check for head trauma, bleeding, masses and strokes. It may also be used to diagnose blood vessel abnormalities and fractures in the skull. A neck CT is used to check for enlarged lymph nodes, masses or any other abnormality. Abdominal CTs are used to observe organs within the abdomen such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas, and the digestive tract in general.

Other CT scans are on the sinuses, to check for obstructions in the sinuses. The spine CT is used to detect a herniated disc, narrowing of the spinal canal, or check for fractures in the spine. The spine is vital to the operation of most systems in the body, and a CT scan could be the difference between healing and permanent damage.

This efficient imaging technique is used by physicians at Frontline ER to:

  • Diagnose any infections, muscle disorders or bone fractures you might have.
  • Locate masses and tumors, including cancerous ones.
  • Study the internal structure of the body and observe blood vessels.
  • Evaluate the degree of internal injuries and internal bleeding.
  • Provide guidance to procedures such as surgeries and biopsies.
  • Monitor treatments for medical conditions such as heart ailments and cancer.

How is The CT Scan Performed?

Your doctor at Frontline ER will give you special dye called contrast material to help your organs become clearer in the images. The contrast material works by blocking out the x-rays and highlights the organs being examined. You may be required to fast for several hours before your CT scan, and then have the contrast material administered either orally or through an injection.

It is important to know that you cannot have a CT with metallic objects on you. Therefore, be honest, and give complete details during triage to prevent accidents in the CT room. Once you are ready for the CT, you will dress in a hospital gown, and lie face up on the table that slides into the scanner. The doctor will leave the room and communicate through an intercom.

Once the table moves into the scanner, the machine will rotate you slowly. You will hear buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds, which is no cause for alarm. The table will move a few millimeters each time until the procedure is complete. The duration depends on your condition, with the procedure taking up to one hour for some patients.

It is important to lie still during CT scans because movement produces blurred images. Sometimes, you may be asked to hold your breath during the procedure to stop your chest from moving up and down. Young children may be sedated during this procedure to prevent from moving around. However, if you are the parent, you will be notified.

Are There Risks Associated with CT Scans?

A CT is a low-risk procedure, especially if you only have one conducted on you. However, continuous exposure to radiation has been known to increase the risks of developing cancer. Frontline ER ensures that CTs are only conducted when necessary to minimize your exposure to radiation.

Some patients have an allergic reaction to contrast material. The material contains iodine, therefore, if you have had negative reactions to iodine in the past, inform the attending doctor at Frontline ER before the procedure. Additionally, patients are advised to inform their doctors if they are pregnant, for alternative exams such as MRI or ultrasound.

CT scans have minimal risks and allow for detailed examinations and quick diagnoses. If you are in need of a CT scan today, visit Frontline ER for quality emergency treatment.

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