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How to Purchase a C-Arm on a Limited Budget: Consider a C-Arm Upgrade

C-Arm Usage in the Medical Industry

With all the changes occurring in the medical industry, what changes have come to c-arms? What c-arm upgrade is available for facilities to take advantage of these days?

According to a recent article published in Signify research, elective procedures and normal operations in many imaging departments were put on hold, leading to an increase in cancellation for non-critical exams.

Imaging directors, Hospital CEO’s and radiologists are under more pressure than ever to reduce funds without reducing the quality of imaging systems. Many Interventional Radiologists are predicting a spike in fluoroscopic cases in 2021 -2024 which means c-arms will need to be in good working order to meet hospital’s imaging demands.

US OR Volumes March-July 2020

The best strategy is to upgrade c-arms before the spike occurs.

5 Reasons to Upgrade a C-arm Instead of Purchasing a New One.

  1. The Pandemic has caused hospitals to divert funds for critical care equipment to meet the demands of the crisis. Interventional, surgical, and fluoroscopic procedural volumes have plummeted, resulting in depressed demand for imaging systems. Because of this imaging department’s budgets are shrinking and purchasing new c-arms is not an option. 
  2. Upgrading a c-arm can increase the life of an existing unit. The image intensifier and the x-ray tube are the only components that need to be replaced on a c-arm to take quality images. The predicted increase in fluoroscopic procedures can overtax an older c-arm which may require repairs during high volumes. Don’t wait until you need the c-arm upgrade.  Take advantage now that fluoroscopic procedures are low.
  3. New c-arms may require additional training. Many companies cannot provide onsite training to cover all shifts. Therefore, imaging departments will have to pay overtime to have the staff come in early or stay late for the training. 
  4. A new c-arm may interfere with clinical workflow. Therefore a software/hardware upgrade may be needed to transfer images to a hospital PAC’S system.  A new dicom unit can cost $12,000 and used one can cost $3,000. 
  5. The existing cables and wiring would not need to be replaced during the upgrade thus eliminating any compatibility issues on a new c-arm.

Rest assured, upgrading, used and refurbishing does not mean “ subpar quality” or “not good as new.” You are not purchasing someone else’s problems.

In fact, upgrading a c-arm can be a cost effective way to purchase quality equipment without overpaying top dollar for a new c-arm.

C-Arm Upgrades

There is no reason to purchase a brand new c-arm when you can replace the image intensifier and the x-ray tube generator for a fraction of the cost. Locks, brakes, and cables can be replaced by the hospital’s biomed team. And even some refurbishing companies will include the replacement in the price.

A refurbished c-arm uses the existing cables and wires and does not require retraining of the staff or restructuring the whole c-arm’s infrastructure.

Flat Plate Digital Detectors

When refurbishing a c-arm consider replacing the image intensifier with a digital flat plate detector.

FPD’s use less radiation dose than an Image intensifier. The Mag 3 setting on an image intensifier uses 5x the radiation dose to produce a magnified image. The FPD’s size is much smaller which gives surgeons 40% more room to work on the body part and makes the c-arm easier to fit in smaller places.

The flat screen allows full views of patient’s anatomy with no image distortion, “pin cushion”, “S” distortion, or glare and vignette.

Flat plates also last longer than image intensifiers and need less repairs.

The FPD provides 100% usable field of view than the image intensifier.

oec 9800 flat panel digital detector
Smaller anatomical structures are better visualized due to the higher contrast resolution

I’ve created an in-depth C-Arm Buyer’s Guide available for free download.

If you have any questions regarding c-arm upgrades, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send an email with your concerns. I’ll be glad to help any way I can!

John Brant “JB” | C-Arm, Mammography Specialist

john@amberusa.com

407-438-7847 ext.1016


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At Amber Diagnostics our trained professionals have been refurbishing used imaging equipment since 1994. We are more than capable of handling all questions and services throughout the purchasing process including room planning, shipping, installation, and training. Our warranties and financing can be customized to fit your facility’s needs and budgets. Click here to receive a call from our experts.