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Advanced technology helps diagnose injuries/conditions faster, with greater precision

BUFFALO, NEW YORK; June 6, 2006-Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation has installed a state-of-the-art 64-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner as part of its expansive Imaging (Radiologic) Center services. The SOMATOM Sensation scanner from Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc., features some of the most advanced imaging technology available today. The device produces high quality images, while reducing the "x-ray dose" to the patient.

The 64-slice CT scanner provides high quality, split-second images, allowing physicians to see more anatomical detail in a fraction of the time needed for other tests. With this new technology, ECMC physicians can now more effectively detect and treat a range of life-threatening illnesses and injuries, providing the early stage diagnostics that are important for determination of effective treatment options. This is especially helpful in emergency trauma cases, such as automobile accidents, where the need to provide prompt and precise images is crucial. Erie County Medical Center is Western New York's Regional Adult (Level I) Trauma Center, serving eight area counties, as well as, Southern Ontario and northwestern Pennsylvania. ECMC reported 1,973 trauma admissions in 2005, up almost 10% from 2004.

According to Dietrich Jehle, M.D., Clinical Director of Emergency Services at ECMC, "We can use the extensive image information we obtain from the new SOMATOM Sensation CT scanner to generate very detailed 3D images. The information acquired can be shared very quickly with emergency physicians and specialists for diagnosis, treatment, pre-surgical planning, and follow-up."

In addition to its CT Acute Care (Trauma) Program, ECMC is developing several other clinical service lines utilizing the new 64-Slice CT scanner including Cardiovascular CT (CVCT), Acute Stroke (Neuro Perfusion) CT, CT Angiography (Vascular Diagnostics), and Pulmonary CT (for functional diagnosis of diffuse lung diseases).

Patients requiring a CT scan will find that ECMC's new scanner offers a much more pleasant experience. With much faster scan times, patients will usually be asked to carry out one brief "breath hold" during each scan. "Older patients-those with breathing difficulties, and especially trauma patients-will really appreciate the shorter exams," says Cheryl Mertowski B.S., R.T., Senior Radiologic Technologist and CT Supervisor for ECMC. "We'll have them in-and-out much faster, and their physicians will be able to access detailed, definitive results within minutes."

The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation encompasses an advanced academic medical center with 550 inpatient beds and 156 skilled nursing home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics, and the Erie County Home, a 586-bed skilled nursing facility. The medical center serves as the regional center for trauma, burn, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo. The ECMC Corporation is dedicated to being Western New York's hospital of choice through excellence in patient care and customer service.

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