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By Pam Reinig

Register Editor


A fund drive is underway to purchase a new CAT scanner for Central Community Hospital (CCH). A new machine costs $200,00; more than $104,000 has already been raised.

The hospital’s current CAT scanner is 10 years old. The average life expectancy of a scanner is five years. “We can go longer due to the smaller number of CT scans (done here),” explained the hospital’s CEO Fran Zichal, who added that about 400 scans are performed at CCH annually.

A computerized axial tomography scanner (or CAT scan) combines a series of x-rays taken from different angles and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images or slices of bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside the human body. CAT scan images provide more detailed information than plain x-rays.

A CAT scan has many uses, but is particularly well suited to quickly examine people who may have internal injuries from car accidents or other types of trauma. A scan can be used to visualize nearly all parts of the body and is used to diagnose disease or injury as well as to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.

The new machine, which has been ordered and will arrive in January, reduces by up to 75 percent the amount of radiation for common scans of the abdomen and lungs. Once it arrives and is installed, the currently used equipment will be returned to the manufacturer.

A capital campaign to raise the needed funds is being coordinated by CCH Foundation, the hospital’s fund-raising branch. The foundation hopes to wrap up its efforts by the end of October.

This is not the Foundation’s first capital effort. Formed in 1989, their first task was to update the hospital to improve the outpatient department (lab, radiology, emergency room). Smaller campaigns were conducted in 2005 for the current CAT scanner and in 2008 to renovate the operating room.

Donations to the scanner fund drive can be sent to Central Community Hospital Foundation, 901 Davidson St. NW, Elkader, IA  52043, Attn: Jessica Goltz.

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