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Advanced Equipment Core to Radiology Service at Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital

By Ben Hohenstatt, journalism intern, CVM

Auburn, Alabama —

With the opening of the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Auburn University, faculty and staff are getting up to speed on everything new, including the latest in technology.

That is particularly true in Radiology, where staff members are getting adjusted to their new location and equipment. “Radiology has big new toys,” said Elizabeth Files, radiology supervisor.  

In fact, staff has already put to good use two Siemens AG new radiology machines. Those machines, the same as what is used in human medical facilities, cost nearly $1 million, and

Dr. John Hathcock, radiology section chief, shares her excitement. “The equipment is really state of the art.”

Radiology’s home is in the center of the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital near clinical pathology and pharmacy, because of its central use by all of the teaching hospital’s services.

Radiology has two ultrasound suites, three radiographic suites and an open room and designated future growth. Dr. Hathcock said that space was planned for a PET scan machine as a future expansion. “We tried to think ahead to what is the next thing we can expand to,” he added.

Files said the equipment in the suites was chosen with a focus on reliability, modernity and established history.

She explained this was to ensure the new hospital offered the best possible care for patients, and the availability of replacement parts for the equipment.

Dr. Hathcock said the way the equipment will be used factored heavily into which equipment was purchased. “The equipment we chose best fit our needs, and how we planned to use it.”

Both new radiology machines, the Agile and the Ysio, are made by Siemens AG. “The Siemens company is well established, and has a long history of making great equipment.”

The Ysio is used for digital diagnostic radiology, and the Agile is used for fluoroscopy.

Files said the new equipment makes it easier to manipulate tables, screens, and table positions.

“With the old equipment if we had to bring a Mastiff into the room we had to help lift the mastiff onto the table,” Files said. The new equipment’s height is controlled with the push of a pedal.

“We can do it all tableside,” Files said.

She raved about the new equipment’s wireless and producing digital imagery, saying the images are clearer, and because they are digital and the hospital has and image archival and retrieval system, they are available anywhere in the hospital.

The equipment, designed for use in human hospitals, was programmed to treat animals. “This equipment was the best we could get for how we work with animals,” Files said. “The wireless technology enables us to move more efficiently around an animal—an animal that’s in pain.”

Dr. Hathcock said he expects excellent results and the same type of longevity from the new equipment.  “We anticipate it not only giving us great studies, but it should last a long time.”

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Radiology technologist Kim Bryant places a Beagle for testing.