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New X-Ray unit brings digital quality to Health Center

WARRENSBURG - Hudson Headwaters Health Network's Warrensburg Health Center has acquired a new X-ray unit that provides higher-quality digital images. The updated equipment, obtained in part through a private donation, greatly improves the way X-rays are processed and what radiologists are able to see.

"It's like night and day," said Shelly Williams, Imaging Services Manager at the Warrensburg Health Center. "The images are much clearer."

Williams said that patients probably won't notice any difference when they are being X-rayed.

"We follow the same routines," she said. "But the machine is more sophisticated. It has a photo timing feature that automatically uses the exact amount of radiation needed to create the image."

Once the X-ray has been taken, a technician views it on a digital work station that enables the image to be manipulated.

"We can focus on whatever the radiologist wants to see up close," said Jennifer Barrett, staff technologist.

Another benefit of the new x-ray system is the weight-bearing capacity of the table.

"We used to be limited to 300 pounds," Williams said. "With the new x-ray table, we can handle up to 600 pounds."

As with the unit it replaced, the new equipment still requires the printing of the x-ray. However, the image is printed electronically, rather than in a darkroom.

"There are no chemicals to handle anymore, and no bad smell," Barrett added.

Williams said that the new equipment complements the fully digital mammography unit donated last year to Hudson Headwaters by the Charles R. Wood Foundation.

"We don't yet have the ability to send images electronically or to store them long term," said Williams. "But the new X-ray equipment is an important improvement to primary care in the North Country."

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