History of the X-Ray

The x-ray machine has revolutionized the medical industry by allowing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers clearly peer into the inner workings of the human body without intrusion. Early in its history, however, x-rays were an unknown phenomenon, as were all forms of potentially harmful radiation. Did the benefits outweigh the risks? To the first scientists discovering these fantastic new rays, yes. But we can see today the personal risks these men and women went through the help us understand radiation. From Pacific Healthcare Imaging, here are some historical facts about the x-ray and how it came to help us today.

Discovery and First Use

The x-ray was discovered in 1895 by a man named Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a professor at Wuerzburg University in Germany. While working with a cathode ray tube in his laboratory, he noticed that when the cathode ray was active with high voltage, several fluorescent minerals nearby would begin to glow. He wrapped the cathode ray tube in heavy black paper, and the effect was the same – the rays were penetrating the paper. He would soon discover that x-rays can penetrate human flesh but not bone and metal objects. One of the earliest x-ray images was taken in 1895 of the hand of Roentgen’s wife, Bertha (through which you can see the dark shadow of the bones of her fingers and the ring on her ring finger).

Early Use in Medicine

By the turn of the century, the world was abuzz with news of this mysterious new ray, with some news sources sensationalizing it. The usefulness of x-rays was seen immediately by doctors and surgeons, who adopted the cathode-ray x-ray in surgery and location bullets in wounded soldiers. In 1901, when President William McKinley was shot, the wounded president called on Thomas Edison to bring an x-ray machine to find the bullet that had penetrated him. Unfortunately, McKinley died due to a bacterial infection caused by the shot before the x-ray machine could be used.

Recognizing the Dangers

For some, the discovery of radiation dangers came too late. Even while elements like radium and uranium were being touted as modern miracles of health, patients were receiving large doses of radiation when doctors found it difficult to align their equipment.  Hair loss was a common complaint, as were hand and chest burns. Clarence Madison Dally, a glassblower of Edison’s that tested his hands with x-ray tubes so frequently that he gave himself a rather violent case of cancer in both hands (which were both amputated along with his elbow and shoulder in an attempt to save his life). When Dally died, Edison abandoned this research, saying “Don’t talk to me about x-rays, I am afraid of them.”

Modern medicine has benefitted much from the sacrifices made by the men and women who studied radiation for a living, offering us safe and efficient methods of radiography. For the safest and highest-quality C-Arms and imaging equipment on the market, you can rely on Pacific Healthcare ImagingContact us today for more information.

Posted in

Aaron O

C-Arm Service Contract

Ongoing service of medical imaging equipment is essential, and it is important to remember that not all service contracts are created equally. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to provide your C-Arm services because of downtime. Make sure that the place you’re opting for has a reputation for providing efficient services and…

Image Intensifier – Usable Life

An image intensifier is a important component for fluoroscopic equipment such as a C-Arm.  Most image intensifiers have a good lifespan,  however, it is common for fluoroscopy systems to go through a few image intensifiers throughout their life. Following are a few ways users can prolong the life of their image intensifiers and/or determine if…

The Need for Digital Imaging

Analog image intensifiers and digital flat plate detectors have their pros and cons. However, in today’s medical imaging field, digital imaging is the efficient way to go if hospitals, outpatient facilities, and private practices want to stay competitive. Digital images are easily transferred throughout the hospital and other health care facilities. They can be stored…

C-Arm Upgrade

During the pandemic, many elective procedures and normal operations in many imaging departments were put on hold, leading to an increase in cancellation for non-critical exams.  Now, C-Arms will need to be in good working order to meet hospital’s imaging demands. Hospital CEO’s and radiologists are under more pressure than ever to reduce funds without…

Manufacturers and Models for Fluoroscopy and C-Arms

Major manufacturers in the fluoroscopy and mobile C-Arm market are GE Healthcare, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Siemens Healthineers (Siemens AG), Hologic, Inc., and Ziehm Imaging. They are constantly researching and developing their technology to be more effective and cost-effective to strengthen their hold on the market. At Pacific Healthcare Imaging we sell and support new, pre-owned,…

Renting a C-Arm

Renting a C-Arm can be an attainable operating expense that fits into even modest budgets.  For many hospitals, clinics, or private imaging centers, buying a new or used C-Arm requires large capital expenditures. The greatest value of renting is the low risk it carries. It brings the equipment you need into your facility, and costs…

Types of C-Arms

C-arm machines are used for a range of diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive surgical procedures.  They are flexible, and can be used in a variety of situations. C-Arms come in different sizes including Mini C-Arms, Compact C-Arms, Full-Size C-Arms.  Keep in mind there are also modifications for C-arms such as digital retrofit devices for analog…

Site Considerations for C-Arms And Portable X-Ray Machines

Think about space and other requirements for your device’s location. Consider existing floor plans, equipment placement, plumbing, power requirements, shielding, and other safety measures. Pre-Planning will reduce delays and allow for correction of possible problems. At Pacific Healthcare Imaging, we can provide you all the information and help you need for your machine purchase. Power…

How to Perform a Basic C-Arm Diagnosis to Improve Image Quality

Do you have poor image quality on your C-Arm? On older C-Arms, the image intensifier or the x-ray tube may need to be replaced or recalibrated, however sometimes a simple height adjustment of the C-arm can improve the image quality. Make sure the body part is centered to the tube. If the anatomy is below…

OEC 9800 Monitor Upgrade

Available Options: There are currently several aftermarket OEC monitor upgrades: a single, large split screen, two individual screens, fixed screens, rotating screens, screens on an articulating arm. There are also 1k, 2k, and now, 4k resolution. Cost: There is a board range of prices, depending on options.  At the high is including an articulating arm,…