Fluoroscopy Table vs Fluoroscopy Trolley; Which is best for my trust?
We’re often asked; What is the difference between a fluoroscopy stretcher such as the ImageFlow stretcher, and a fluoroscopy table, and which should we be using in our imaging department?
In this article, we’ll look at the key differences between a fluoroscopy stretcher and a fluoroscopy table, looking at some key points like cost, patient transfer, and c-arm compatibility.
Firstly, what is a fluoroscopy stretcher?
Fluoroscopy stretchers, such as the ImageFlow, are specialist patient stretchers designed primarily for imaging environments.
Key features of fluoroscopy stretchers:
- Suitable for patient transport – As well as being suitable for multiple different imaging procedures, fluoroscopy stretchers have all the features of a typical patient transport stretcher, and as such they can also be used for patient transport, right through from your ED department to the imaging department. This removes the need to transfer the patient on and off an imaging table from a separate patient stretcher.
- Moving or sliding top – Fluoroscopy stretchers will typically feature a moving mattress platform. For example, the mattress platform on the ImageFlow slides 490mm horizontally, greatly reducing the need to move the patient, trolley base or C arm, and enabling you to easily achieve accurate positioning for imaging.
- Good C-Arm clearance – Fluoroscopy stretchers are usually designed to be used with C-arm cameras, with good clearance underneath the mattress platform for the camera. As seen in the image above, the ImageFlow has a U-shaped base that offers very good clearance for the camera.
And what about a fluoroscopy/imaging table?
Fluoroscopy tables, often called imaging tables, are specialized procedure tables designed to be used in various imaging procedures like fluoroscopy, ultrasound, radiology, and surgery, and for use with C-arm cameras.
Key features of imaging tables:
- Excellent C-arm clearance – Most imaging tables are designed with a single actuator column and a lot of space under the mattress platform, offering excellent clearance for a C-arm camera and artefact-free imaging.
- Highly movable top – Most imaging tables will have the option to move the top horizontally, in a similar way to the ImageFlow stretcher. Higher-end and more costly imaging tables will allow you to freely move the top, either horizontally, laterally or diagonally, enabling you to easily achieve accurate positioning for imaging.
- Thin top for artefact-free imaging – Imaging tables are designed to have thin, radiolucent tops, to ensure images are artefact-free
Fluoroscopy stretcher vs table; Cost
The majority of imaging tables are more costly than fluoroscopy stretchers, with most imaging tables costing between £15,000 and £25,000. Higher-end imaging tables with functions such as free-floating tops can cost up to £50,000!
By comparison, the ImageFlow stretcher costs £9,666 exc. VAT, or £11,599.20 inc. VAT.
Winner: Fluoroscopy Stretcher. Depending on your department’s budget and access to funds, this could be a deciding factor in which option you choose for your service.
Related article: How much does the Felgains ImageFlow stretcher cost?
Fluoroscopy stretcher vs table; Patient transfer efficiency
One of the main differences between a fluoroscopy stretcher and an imaging table is that the stretcher is designed to transport a patient to and from an imaging department as well as to be used during the actual procedure.
In comparison, an imaging table is primarily designed to be used during imaging procedures and isn’t designed for patient transport. Instead, the patient will have to be transported to the department on a separate patient stretcher and transferred onto the imaging table. This increases the number of patient transfers carried out, which has a negative impact on efficiency and may increase the risk of staff injury.
Winner: Fluoroscopy Stretcher. If you are looking to increase the efficiency of your imaging department and reduce waiting times, you may want to consider reducing the number of patient transfers by implementing an imaging/fluoroscopy stretcher.
Fluoroscopy stretcher vs table; C-arm compatibility
Both fluoroscopy stretchers and imaging tables are designed specifically to be compatible with C-arms, with large clearance areas and radiolucent tops.
Some of the cheaper imaging tables have fixed tops, which is a disadvantage when compared to a stretcher like the ImageFlow, which has a sliding top to assist in achieving accurate positioning for imaging.
At the other end of the scale, the most expensive high-end imaging tables have completely free-floating tops, which is an advantage over the solely horizontal movement of the ImageFlow top, as it allows the staff to more easily position the patient for imaging.
Winner: Both. Both imaging stretchers and tables are going to be perfectly compatible with a C-arm camera. If your budget stretches to a high-end imaging table with a free-floating top, this will give you more C-arm clearance and flexibility when compared to a stretcher.
Which option is best for my trust?
Which option you choose for your trust will depend on your requirements and needs as a department, however, I hope this article has clearly articulated the differences between the two options and helped you in your decision-making process. Factors such as space available, current equipment, and the importance of increasing efficiency are also likely to influence your decision.
If you have any questions for us, or are interested in a demonstration or trial of the ImageFlow fluoroscopy stretcher, please get in touch on 01473 741144, or feel free to submit a contact form below.
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