5 Common CT Scanner Issues and What To Do About Them

Common CT Scanner Issues

Computed tomography (CT) scanners are a vital piece of equipment in any medical imaging department. And after performing thousands of scans, it’s normal for scanners to experience some sort of issue. In the event that an issue does come up, typically an imaging engineer will be called in to diagnose and fix the problem as quickly as possible.


Common Ways That Your CT Scanner Can Fail and How to Avoid Them

To keep you better informed of the ins and outs of CT scanners, we’re going to talk about the most common problems you can expect when operating them, as well as what you can do to avoid them from ever happening. This way, you won’t have to worry about experiencing unnecessary downtime or ending up with an inferior scan.


At Catalina Imaging, we’re committed to providing the highest quality solutions by specializing in mobile CT scanning technology. Contact us today at info@catalinaimaging.com or call us at (844) 949-1664!


  • X-ray tube failure

When the X-ray tube fails or malfunctions, it can result in poor image quality or an inability to produce images at all. This usually occurs when there is an issue in the vacuum seal within the tube or damage to the tube itself. Other factors may also contribute to this issue, including age, wear and tear, and improper maintenance.


If an X-ray tube failure occurs, turn off the X-ray beam immediately to ensure the safety of the patient and the healthcare providers. The CT scan may need to be rescheduled or performed using a different type of medical imaging technology, depending on the severity of the failure and the unavailability of alternative equipment. The healthcare provider should work with the patient to determine the best course of action.


  • Calibration issues

Calibration is very important to ensure that the machine is working properly and giving accurate results. To calibrate a CT scanner is to scan an object called a phantom, with known radiodensity, to check whether the measurements given show the correct number of Hounsfield Units (HUs). 


This can be done manually or automatically, depending on what kind of calibration tool was included with your CT scanner purchase. If there isn’t any calibration tool included with your purchase, you will need to buy it separately.


  • Cloudy sensors and filters

Ambient temperature and humidity can affect the performance of your machine. This is especially important in humid environments, where water vapor can condense on the sensors and lenses of your device.


To avoid this problem, try to keep your machine at around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius). And if you live in an especially dry climate, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight.


Dust particles and other contaminants inside the air filter system can also be the culprit as to why your machine is malfunctioning. To prevent this, change out the CT scanner’s filters regularly (at least once every three months) and clean them regularly with compressed air, as well as soap-based cleaners (never use alcohol.) 


Additionally, it’s recommended to use HEPA filters for any rooms adjacent to where you plan on doing scans. These will capture most dust particles before they go anywhere near the machine’s sensitive components.


  • Too much image noise 

Multiple detector scanners are those that use two or more detectors to take x-ray images from different angles around the body. Each detector records only part of an image, which are all combined later on during processing. While these can produce better-quality results than single-detector scanners, they also tend to produce images with more noise. 


When you experience this, try to increase the radiation dose to improve the contrast resolution of a CT scan. This will reduce the amount of noise in the image, resulting in a clearer and more detailed image.


However, it is also important to consider the balance between the radiation dose and the required contrast resolution when determining the settings for the examination. Increasing the radiation dose may come at a cost, and it is necessary to weigh this against the need for a high-quality image.


  • Power surges

If a CT scanner were to experience a power surge, it damage your equipment. This is why it’s important to use surge protectors that are UL-tested and approved.


Furthermore, ensure that any electrical equipment in your radiology suite is plugged into an outlet with a properly installed ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). You can also buy specialty outlets that have built-in receptacles for plugs without cords to reduce tripping hazards and increase safety overall.


Related resources:

History of the CT Scan | The Difference Between CT and MRI


We hope this guide has helped you understand the most common ways that CT scanners can fail. If you run into any trouble when using a CT scanner, contact an experienced technician immediately to prevent any further downtime.

Let us help you find the perfect solution for your mobile medical imaging needs. Call us today at (844) 949-1664 or email us at info@catalinaimaging.com to learn how we can help your practice.

Why You Need to Let a CT Scanner Warm Up First

Why You Need to Let a CT Scanner Warm Up First

When it comes to CT scanners, proper maintenance and operation are of utmost importance. You need to make sure that the equipment is operating at peak performance to ensure that it’s delivering the best results possible. 


At Catalina Imaging, we’re committed to providing the highest quality solutions by specializing in mobile CT scanning technology. Contact us today at info@catalinaimaging.com or call us at (844) 949-1664!

Why You Need to Let a CT Scanner Warm Up First

CT Scanners: how they work

A CT scanner, also known as a computer tomography scanner, is a medical imaging device that uses X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body. It does this by taking multiple x-ray measurements from different angles and using a computer to combine them into a detailed 3D image. This allows doctors to see inside the body and diagnose a wide range of conditions, such as tumors, fractures, and blood clots.


CT scanners are very expensive to purchase and maintain. Needless to say, it is important to handle them properly so as to preserve their lifespan and ensure that they continue to function effectively – and one of the best preventative measures to take is to let your CT scanner warm up before using it.


Importance of Warming Up of CT Scanners

Warming up a CT scanner before using it is one important aspect of properly handling the machine. It is important for the following reasons:

To allow for optimal performance

A warm CT scanner is more responsive to commands – thus, it’s more accurate in its readings and produces higher-quality X-ray images of the patient’s body.


This translates into a better experience for you and your patients—and that’s something we can all get behind!


To meet manufacturer specs

When a CT scanner is cold, the X-ray photons are scattered in all directions, making it difficult for the computer to generate an image. The scanner must reach an ideal temperature to operate as safely and effectively as possible.


These machines are designed to warm up gradually before use to avoid potential issues from arising. If they were to generate warped images, this would adversely affect the function of other medical devices that depend on accurate scans.


To reduce downtime due to errors

CT scanners are very sensitive and have several moving parts. They are prone to failure during operation when not properly warmed up. This is because CT scanners use X-rays, which are electromagnetic waves that can pass through most materials. If the machine isn’t warmed up properly, it’s more likely that the X-ray will not be able to penetrate all of the layers of metal and other parts inside the machine. This subsequently results in missed images or other errors.


To ensure your team’s safety

Warming up your CT scanner is a safety precaution you and your team should take. This will ultimately help avoid accidents and injuries, besides ensuring high-quality results. When you’re letting your CT scanner warm up, there are a few particular steps you need to take. 


First, make sure that you’ve turned off all nonessential electronics in the room. Then turn on the camera and set its focus to infinity. Next, move the table into position and put any necessary materials on it (such as cables or other items). 


Finally, turn on the machine and let it warm up for at least fifteen minutes before beginning work with patients or objects inside of it.


Conclusion: Why Allowing Your CT Scanner to Warm Up Before Use is Beyond Critical

A properly warmed-up CT scanner will be less likely to require repeat testing, which in turn, prevents potential complications or delays in care. In addition, it will work better overall, leading to better patient outcomes and a higher quality of care. Patients will not have to worry about being misdiagnosed or waiting longer than necessary for treatment because of a technical hiccup.


At Catalina, we take pride in providing our customers with the care and attention they deserve. For more information about our services, contact us at (844) 949-1664 or info@catalinaimaging.com!