Critical-Care CT at the Bedside

Bedside, mobile CT changes head scans for critically ill patients.

CHICAGO - Critically ill patients in need of a head CT no longer have to leave the intensive care unit for the exam.

During the 2019 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, Siemens Healthineers unveiled its SOMATOM, a mobile head CT scanner that enables the technologist to perform the exam directly at the patient’s bedside. Bringing the machine to the patient eliminates pricey patient transports that pose patient risks, minimizes scan time, and reduces significant staff requirements.

To use the scanner, which is moved by motorized trolley, the technologist removes the headboard of the patient’s bed, and an integrated shoulder board and head holder provide support for the patient who remains attached to monitors and other devices. Consistent positioning at isocenter can provide optimal image quality, according to company information, and the telescopic gantry design moves the radiation source and gantry away from the patient during the scan. Front and back gantry protective curtains reduce radiation scatter for both staff and nearby patients. 

The Siemens user interface, myExam Companion, can guide a technologist through the exam no matter his or her experience level. And, once complete, the scan is sent directly to the PACS.

According to company data, is a 32-slice scanner and has a 0.7-mm detector width. It provides 2.4 cm of coverage with each gantry rotation.

Currently, U.S. Food & Drug Administration 510(k) clearance for is pending with shipments anticipated in by Spring 2020.