Probe into hospital scanner breakdown

AN investigation is under way after a hi-tech scanner developed a major electrical fault as it was about to be used on a patient.The state-of-the-art Computed Tomography or CT scanner at Ipswich Hospital has been put out of action by the incident, which happened on WednesdayEngineers were unable to repair the machine, used for diagnosing cancer and monitoring, and it is to be replaced.

AN investigation is under way after a hi-tech scanner developed a major electrical fault as it was about to be used on a patient.

The state-of-the-art Computed Tomography or CT scanner at Ipswich Hospital has been put out of action by the incident, which happened on Wednesday

Engineers were unable to repair the machine, used for diagnosing cancer and monitoring, and it is to be replaced.

The problem occurred as a patient was lying on the table ready to have a CT scan. The man was quickly taken out of the purpose-built scanning room and was not hurt.


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Scanner manufacturer GE Medical Systems has launched an investigation into the incident.

The backlog of scans has been dealt with by doubling up on the hospital's other CT scanner.

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The scanning equipment was opened by former Ipswich Town and England football manager Sir Bobby Robson in December 2001 and cost £800,000.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said the scanner would be replaced and up and running next week.

"It was a major problem with one of the two CT scanners. There was a patient who was ready to have a scan lying on the scan table," she said.

"As soon as the problem happened, the patient was taken out of the scanning room. He was accompanied the whole time and he was not affected."

She added: "The company that manufactures the scanner has been marvellous and engineers came as quickly as they could.

"They realised it was a major problem and have taken it away for analysis, and they have made arrangements for a new scanner to be delivered. It should be with us today, and ready for use by next Wednesday.

"It is a major piece of medical equipment and things do go wrong from time to time. There had been no ongoing problem.

"Staff in the diagnostic imaging department have been working hard and running more sessions on the existing scanner."

No-one at GE Medical Systems was available for comment last night.

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