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Trinity adds new nuclear heart imaging system

September 30, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - The latest in technology supports accurate, fast diagnosis of heart disease in a procedure that is comfortable and safe for patients, according to Trinity Health System officials.

Trinity Health System has acquired an advanced nuclear imaging system that helps doctors accurately diagnose heart disease while keeping patients comfortable, officials said. The Ventri nuclear imaging system from GE Healthcare uses the latest in technology to create the highest-quality images available, helping doctors quickly assess the location, extent and severity of heart damage, according to officials.

For many patients, nuclear heart studies can be a trying experience. The Ventri system, however, is designed with multiple patient comfort features. Small detector heads and a slim gantry give patients a clear view of their surroundings, avoiding the anxiety of feeling "closed in." A specially designed table accommodates patients up to 440 pounds and lowers to 21 inches - making it easy for patients to get on and off. And VentriCare arm and leg supports are designed to help patients remain in a natural position and stay comfortable throughout the procedure.

These unique comfort features help the patient to feel more comfortable and secure during their scan, officials said. This can mean less movement, which ultimately can lead to better image quality. Information from the Ventri exam helps doctors decide on the best treatment and can postpone or reduce the need for surgical procedures or more expensive and more invasive diagnostic tests.

Nuclear cardiology studies are important for diagnosing heart disease, the single leading cause of death in the U.S. today.

According to the American Heart Association, about one in three deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease, and an estimated 1.2 million Americans will have a heart attack this year. As the baby boomer generation ages, these numbers are expected to rise.

"Our Ventri nuclear cardiology system raises the level of care that our physicians can provide for heart patients," said Dr. Hunter Vaughan, medical director of imaging. "We selected this system because its ergonomic design is focused around patient comfort. The more comfortable our patients are, the less they move during exams, and therefore, the better the quality of the images we receive to make our diagnosis.

"With the Ventri system, we are raising the level of excellence in health care in our area," added Vaughan. "We are proud to be on the leading edge of advancing the quality of heart care for local residents."

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