As hospitals continue to implement dedicated hybrid cath labs, technology will also adapt to those new environments. So when the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children’s Congenital Heart Institute, Orlando, Fla, was interested in creating a hybrid lab, it was important to find ergonomic and functional equipment to outfit the space. Such was the case with Toshiba’s Infinix CF-i bi-plane x-ray machine, which features a functioning surgery table in addition to its x-ray capabilities.
“The main thing that sold us with the Infinix was that we were developing a hybrid lab so we could do surgery in the lab,” said David Nykanen, MD, director of cardiology at the Congenital Heart Institute. “The Infinix has a five-axis rotational system that allows you to get equipment as far out of the way as possible, so multiple operators can work from multiple positions in the room. It really facilitates surgery as well as other imaging modalities like endocardiography.”
The Infinix CF-i bi-plane x-ray system’s five-axis design provides flexible positioning of the C-arm to create 180-degree head-end access or alternative positioning to best accommodate the physician, ancillary equipment, and clinical staff. The system also features a fully functioning surgery table that can be used in the hybrid suite environment.
“Toshiba also offers a table that functions as an operation table for cardiac surgery,” said Nykanen. “Siemens and Philips have a table that can do that, each with their advantages and disadvantages, but I think that all three of the vendors would tell you that the table is relatively new technology. The table even allows side-to-side tilting, which is important if you’re going to do cardiac surgery.”
The system also offers features like 3D visualization. The Infinix-i’s 3D acquisition ability allows physicians to view a three-dimensional perspective of the anatomy, which optimizes vessel-viewing angles prior to intervention and helps determine the proper size of interventional devices to be used for planning and treatment. Physicians are also able to see complicated structures with clarity and view images that were impossible to obtain in 2D.
Another benefit of the table is its ability to lower dose. While most tables have dose-lowering capabilities, the Toshiba solution allows physicians to digitally magnify images as a means to lowering the radiation delivered to a patient.
“This system allows you to magnify digitally, which I think many of the vendors offer, but rather than increasing the radiation dose, you can utilize digital software to magnify a dose,” said Nykanen. “It’s something that most vendors recognize as important to limit dose, particularly when you’re imaging kids. It may not be unique to what the system offers, but we feel like it’s something that we will utilize to decrease dose.”
However, despite all of its other benefits, possibly the greatest selling point for the Toshiba Infinix CF-i bi-plane x-ray system is its ergonomic design. In a hybrid cath lab setting, the ability to move and rearrange equipment is crucial, and the Toshiba solution offers the ability to easily manipulate the C-arm in order to perform surgery. And despite the Toshiba table not being a dedicated operating table, Nykanen believes that it suits the hospital’s needs.
“I think that if you were to ask a cardiac surgeon, they will tell you that a specifically designed OR table is preferable to them,” said Nykanen. “But this provides them with the opportunity to comfortably do an open cardiac procedure in a setting that’s not a cardiac operating room. The problem with their operating tables is that they cannot accommodate the equipment. In some ways, there are compromises, but we have not had any complaints about the table.”
Ultimately, creating a hybrid cath lab takes more than just the right equipment. It takes a dedicated team of providers to offer quality services. But Toshiba’s solution certainly helps facilitate the proper care model and mind-set.
“I think, for facilities, ‘hybrid cath labs’ is a bit of a buzz term,” said Nykanen. “It’s as much about the attitude as it is about the room and the equipment. I think that the people and the team’s willingness to innovate are probably as important as the equipment in terms of being able to deliver the care. It’s nice to see vendors that are starting to think that way as well.”