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GE Voluson e6 – 730 comparison

A simple comparison for two GE ultrasound machines – the Voluson 730 and the Voluson e6. Both machines are well-recognized and respected in the industry. GE is great at producing 3D/4D ultrasound machines, as many of you already know. Let’s go through the two machines.
The GE Voluson 730 has a 15” CRT monitor, the e6 has a 19” articulating LCD monitor. Both ultrasound systems perform very well with 4D imaging – it’s what GE is known for but what may separate one purchase from the other is price. The Voluson 730 is still significantly less than the e6 – this may determine what is feasible considering your budget.
The Voluson 730 offers an easy approach with plug and play connectivity to an external monitor or TV along with a good workflow environment that is easy to use. This ultrasound system is considered to have set the benchmark for 3D/4D scanning and set the platform that other manufacturers had to follow.
The e6 is designed with a more slim design to conserve a little space. It also has utilized the latest technology in their probes for instance with the C5-1 convex probe and deeper penetration or the 9L-D linear probe for higher quality imaging with first trimester and vascular images. The e6 has a more simplified data management system for storing and sending images. It has a faster processor and newer hardware. If you need Elastography, you can add that option on this ultrasound system at an additional cost.
Both units, the Voluson 730 and the e6 offer enhanced imaging options to really create stellar 3D images but the e6 does go a step further for early fetal abnormalities. The e6, like the Voluson e8 can also add the option of HDLive for critical fetal diagnosis but then again, you push the price even higher.
We’ve yet to meet a customer dismayed by the performance or clarity of either of these machines so depending on your budget, you may choose any of these great GE 4D ultrasound systems and have a quality machine sitting in your office.
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The Diagnosis Of Kidney Stones

If you’ve never had a kidney stone, count yourself lucky as these tiny conglomerations of calcium and other compounds can make life extremely difficult.

The stones themselves are not actually stones, but most are rather a conglomeration of calcium and other compounds. They are formed in the kidneys and then must pass out of the kidneys and out of the body through the urethra. This process of movement from kidney to urethra can be extremely painful, although some small stones can pass without causing any significant discomfort.

The symptoms of a kidney stone typically include sharp pains in the back, around the area where the kidneys are located. Nausea and vomiting also might occur along with the pain. Pain during urination and blood in the urine are two other common symptoms of a kidney stone.

Your regular doctor typically can help you when you have these stones, or perhaps you will want to see a doctor that specializes in these types of issues – an urologist. The urologist can perform some tests that correctly determine whether or not you have a kidney stone or perhaps some other problem. An ultrasound machine can be used to help locate a kidney stone, and the ultrasound equipment is an excellent option because it is non-invasive and does not require that a patient be exposed to contrast dye or any radiation.

Generally, if the stone is small, your doctor will recommend increasing your fluid intake, and sometimes pain medicine will be prescribed or an over-the-counter pain medicine will be recommended. When it comes to fluids, water is the best choice, and some studies show that adding lemon juice to the water can be helpful. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcoholic beverages as these cause dehydration, which is often a reason why stones are created in the first place.

For larger stones that cannot pass out of the body, medical intervention might be necessary. One procedure, known as shock wave lithotripsy, involves crushing the stone in order to make the pieces small enough to pass through the body easily. Ureteroscopy is another common procedure where a doctor uses a scope to find the stone and either remove it or perhaps use a laser to break it into passable-sized pieces. In some cases, more invasive surgery might be needed, although most stones can be managed without surgery.

Be sure to keep the pieces of the stones you pass and give them to your doctor for analysis. While most stones are calcium based, there are cystine stones, uric acid stones and struvite stones. Knowing the type of stone you have can make it easier to avoid the formation of stones in the future.

The 20-Week Ultrasound

One of the highlight’s of pregnancy is the 20-week ultrasound. While it’s fun for the parents to see a picture of their baby developing and possibly to find out the sex of the child, this diagnostic test can help doctors get an excellent image of the baby’s overall health. Sometimes this test is performed a few weeks earlier than 20 weeks, beginning at around 18 weeks.

An ultrasound is an extremely safe way to monitor baby health throughout pregnancy, as the ultrasound equipment is free of radiation and is non-invasive. For the mother, there might be some very mild discomfort. Prior to the test, moms are asked to drink a fair amount of liquid in order to make the images as clear as possible. When the technician places the ultrasound probe on your belly and presses gently, this can be a bit uncomfortable due to the fact that you do have a full bladder. Otherwise, there should be no other discomfort involved.

While you might be interested in learning the sex and seeing your baby in general, the technician and your doctor are looking at some specific things during the test. For instance, by measuring and looking at development of the fetus, the age of the fetus can be determined more accurately, which can help clarify the due date.

The position of your placenta also will be looked at as well as the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus. One condition the tech will be looking for is evidence of placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta lies too low in the body, near the opening of the cervix. This condition is rare and can result in hemorrhaging during delivery, but this problem can avoided if necessary with a c-section delivery. Sometimes having that full bladder during the 20-week scan can make the placenta appear low, and further ultrasounds will be administered as your pregnancy progresses.

As for your baby, the technician and doctor also will be looking at the overall health of several internal organs as well as overall growth and development. The ultrasound machine will be used to take pictures of the chambers of the heart as well as looking at the heart valves. The tech also will take a look at the baby’s kidneys and stomach.

Brain development also will be looked at, and this scan is done during a point in pregnancy when many brain problems are visible, so if something unusual is seen, further tests will be scheduled and a more comprehensive ultrasound probably will be one of them. The technician also will use the ultrasound machine to look at facial development to check for issues such as a cleft palate as well as looking at the development of the spinal cord. Of course, you also get a good picture of the arms and legs and can check on the development of these limbs as well.

While you might be worried that the ultrasound machine will show a health issue with the baby, keep in mind that the vast majority of all pregnancies end up with a healthy baby. For most parents, this 20-week ultrasound ends with a welcome sigh of relief that the baby is doing well.

The Ultrasound: How It Works

While we’ve all seen ultrasound pictures of our own children or perhaps the children of friends, most people don’t know exactly how an ultrasound machine produces images.

As the name suggests, it’s all about sound. Ultrasound waves are simply sound waves that the human ear cannot detect. The ultrasound technician uses a probe which is placed on the skin, and this probe sends out pulses of ultrasound waves. This sound reflects off of human tissue as an echo. The echo is then used to create an image.

In many ways, it is similar to echolocation. This is what happens when bats and other animals use sound to help them identify objects that they cannot see. Sonar is another example of how sound waves are bounced off of objects in order to locate them. With an ultrasound machine, the importance is not just in locating an object but also studying it for medical purposes.

Obviously, it is standard practice for women to undergo one or more ultrasound exams during their pregnancy. However, many other doctors use ultrasound technology to study other parts of the body, including organs such as the heart. The ultrasound provides an excellent, non-invasive way to look for a wide variety of medical issues. It also has an advantage over x-rays in that no radiation is transmitted to the patient during the test. Cardiologists, urologists, gynecologists and obstetricians are some of the doctors that use ultrasounds, but emergency room doctors and emergency medical technicians also sometimes use these machines, particularly hand-held or portable ultrasounds.

A standard ultrasound usually has several different parts. The part that comes into contact with our body is known as a transducer probe, and this is the piece that actually sends out the sound waves and then receives the echo once it reaches its target within our body, which might be a fetus or perhaps the heart. An ultrasound machine also includes a computer and a monitor to display the pictures. Usually, there is a printer as well, either as part of the whole machine or connected by cables. The computers also allow the technician to place the images on CDs.

What To Expect During Your Ultrasound

When you are pregnant, your ultrasound appointments might be one of the highlights of your nine months. Getting to see that little person and watching as the heart beats and possibly finding out which gender your child will be is all a lot of fun. Of course, the ultrasound is also a diagnostic tool and doctors use it to identify potential issues so you also might be a bit nervous, as well.

Sometimes in early pregnancy, a transvaginal ultrasound is performed. Often this is simply to help the doctor determine your due date more accurately, and sometimes it is given to women who have had a previous miscarriage. If your pregnancy is considered to be at high risk for any reason, then your doctor probably will perform this type of ultrasound in the first weeks following your positive pregnancy test. This test is rarely more than mildly uncomfortable and takes just a few minutes to perform in most cases.

Later on in pregnancy as you move into your second trimester, a standard ultrasound will be performed. The technician will place water-based gel on your belly and move a probe over your skin. Prior to the ultrasound, women typically are asked to drink several glasses of water about an hour before the test. The coolness of the gel and the uncomfortable feeling of a full bladder should be the only uncomfortable aspects of the ultrasound exam.

In general, the doctor uses the results of the ultrasound to monitor the fetal growth and development. The doctor also will check the placenta and amniotic fluid to ensure that everything appears to be progressing normally during your pregnancy. The doctor also can look inside the chambers of the baby’s heart to check for any possible defects and often can tell the gender as early as 15 weeks, although sometimes you can determine the gender earlier.

For most normal pregnancies, you might have two ultrasound appointments. If you are carrying multiples or you or the fetus are at higher risk for various conditions, you probably will have a few more ultrasounds, and these also probably will the completed using an advanced ultrasound, which provides higher quality images. The ultrasound does not transmit radiation to the fetus or the mother and is considered a safe, low-risk procedure.

Understanding The Echocardiogram

The echocardiogram is a common test used by doctors to help diagnose or monitor a variety of conditions that can occur within our hearts. Unlike an x-ray, echocardiograms do not expose patients to radiation and also provide a more detailed look at the heart and the area surrounding the heart.

Doctors can use the information from these images to look for signs of heart disease or simply to check the function of your heart in general. The doctor will be able to see the chambers of the heart as well as the valves and the lining of the heart. A doctor can use this test to monitor the way blood flows in and out of the heart. The echocardiogram can be used safely on patients of all ages, including infants.

This procedure, often known simply as an echo, is non-invasive and a trained technician simply places a device called a transducer on your skin near the heart. This transducer releases sound waves, and the sound waves are then converted into electrical impulses and this produce images which appear on the screen of the ultrasound machine. This is the most basic type of echo and is known as a transthoracic echocardiogram. It is completely painless and safe.

Sometimes the echo does not provide a clear image and perhaps the lungs or other tissue are obstructing the view. When this occurs, contrast liquid might be injected into the body through an IV to provide a clearer picture. This contrast liquid is an agitated saline solution.

Another common type of echo is called the transesophageal echocardiogram, and this is slightly more invasive but still much less invasive that exploratory surgery. Also, this test does not transmit radiation to a patient as an x-ray would. With this procedure, known also as a TEE, the back of the patient’s throat is numbed and a scope is placed down the throat to the lower portion of your esophagus. Sounds waves are then sent out and this provides a picture or image of your heart.

Due to the requirement of sedation of the patient and more invasive nature of the TEE, a physician will conduct this test and not a sonographer. This type of echo is less common that the transthoracic echocardiogram, but the images usually are much clearer with a TEE and sometimes this is needed.

The stress echocardiograph is another way in which ultrasound machines are used to help diagnose issues with the heart. This usually is just called a cardiac stress test or perhaps a stress echo. This test is used to determine the effects of stress or work on the heart. The patient will have a transthoracic echo performed first. Then the heart will be stimulated, typically by having the patient walk on a treadmill. The heart will be monitored throughout the test and after its completion, another echo will be performed. The patient also will be monitored during the test using an electrocardiogram or EKG or ECG, as they also are called. This monitors the electrical activity in the heart before, during and after the stress test.

There are many different types and brands of ultrasound machines that are used for these tests. For instance, your doctor might use a GE ultrasound machine or perhaps a Toshiba ultrasound machine or Philips ultrasound machine. Often, a pre-owned ultrasound machine is used, as these are much more cost-effective for doctors and, ultimately, patients.

Facts About Portable Ultrasounds

Ultrasound technology certainly has advanced the course of medical care by providing a non-invasive way to check for many medical problems. Full-size medical imaging machines are quite bulky and while they often are placed on wheeled carts, a portable ultrasound can make it easier for doctors and technicians to perform ultrasounds on a variety of patients.

The first portable ultrasound was designed in the mid-1970s, but it was several decades before these devices became more commonly used. The first models used an oscilloscope rather than a TV monitor and weighed as much as 25 pounds. Today’s portable ultrasounds can be as light as just five pounds and are useful for many different types of medical professionals.

Veterinarians, especially large animal vets, definitely will enjoy the flexibility of using a portable ultrasound. . Battery-powered portable ultrasounds are perfect tools for use for a mobile veterinarian. These can be used to monitor pregnancies in horses, cows, swine and, of course, cats and dogs. These ultrasound machines also can be used in veterinary offices and are handy to tote from room to room.

An OB/GYN also can make use of a portable ultrasound machine, and these are also easily moved from room to room. Often, all ultrasounds may occur in one room, and if you have a busy practice with many patients, it can be easier to use a portable device as well as having a larger piece of ultrasound equipment.

Portable devices can be quite helpful in the field of emergency medicine, as well. EMTs can undergo training and use these devices in the field, and emergency room doctors also can use these ultrasounds as an important diagnostic tool.

There are several different sizes of portable ultrasounds available. One type is about the size of a laptop computer and might weigh between 10 and 15 pounds. These are easy to bring directly to a patient when needed, such as in an emergency room or hospital room. There are also smaller hand-carried portables, some of which are nearly as small as a cell phone and weighing only a pound or two.

Many different companies produce portable ultrasound machines, including Phillips ultrasound machines, GE ultrasound machines and Toshiba ultrasound machines. You can even purchase high-quality refurbished or used ultrasound equipment. Used ultrasound machines can be an excellent way to improve patient care while keeping costs in check.

Important Tests For Pregnant Women

When you become pregnant, your obstetrician will schedule a variety of tests for you and your little one. Some are scheduled to ensure that your health is excellent and some are to ensure that the baby is healthy. Here are a few that your doctor probably will recommend and schedule for you.

Usually one of the very first tests is a routine blood test. This is done to check for many conditions, such as anemia or a low platelet count, which might indicate that your blood might not clot properly, which can put you at high risk during pregnancy and delivery.

The initial blood test also screens for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Blood tests also will be used to check your Rh factor. Most people are Rh positive, but if you test Rh negative and the father of the baby is Rh positive, this can cause hemolytic anemia. As the pregnancy progresses, most women opt to take a multiple marker screening test somewhere between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy. This test checks for conditions such as spina bifida and Down syndrome and is about 80% accurate, so if you were to test positive for these neural tube defects, further tests might be given to confirm the results.

Usually your doctor will take urine tests from time to time throughout your pregnancy. One of the main conditions your doctor is checking for is gestational diabetes, but the doctor also is ensuring that you don’t have a kidney infection or a urinary tract infection. A glucose tolerance test also will be given at some point to further check for diabetes. For this test, you drink a high-sugar drink and wait for an hour and then blood is drawn to see the result.

During each visit, your doctor will probably have a nurse check your weight and also take your blood pressure. Checking blood pressure is highly important, as this can definitely go up during pregnancy and some women even develop a condition known as preeclampsia. Less than 8 percent of women develop this serious rise in blood pressure, and urine and blood tests, as well as blood pressure checks are all done in part to ensure that if a woman does have preeclampsia that it is monitored carefully.

One of the highlights of pregnancy typically is the fetal ultrasound test. Your doctor does use an ultrasound machine to check the growth and position of the baby, as well as the health of the placenta and the overall health of the baby. But for parents, this is a chance to see the baby’s heart beating and to get a glimpse of their little one and even find out the sex of the baby. An ultrasound machine uses sound waves to create images of the baby and allows doctors to check heart health and overall development. Of course, your doctor also will use a portable ultrasound transducer to check the fetal heart rate during your regularly scheduled visits.

There are other tests that might be given, as well, but these are some of the most common. While a woman might be a bit nervous about all of these tests and the health of the baby, the vast majority of pregnancies have no problems at all. Many problems can be treated, as well, so while the tests are important, the results usually bring peace of mind to the expectant parents.

Facts About Becoming A Medical Sonographer

Medical ultrasonography is a highly important tool for doctors around the world, and the professionals that operate the imaging devices often are known as ultrasound technicians, although their proper job title is diagnostic medical sonographer. This is a bustling occupational field and sonographers constantly are in demand. If you are considering medical ultrasonography as a career, here are some facts you should know.

First of all, there are many different kinds of medical sonographer, and you may want to specialize in one specific type of sonography. For instance, obstetrical sonography is used to check fetal development during pregnancy. Echocardiography is a type of ultrasound used to diagnose problems of the heart. Other areas of concentration include vascular sonography, pediatrics and there are even generalized programs that focus on many areas of sonography.

You will need to obtain a two-year associate degree or bachelor’s degree from a college or university that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or CAAHEP. It is unwise to consider any program not accredited by CAAHEP. There are hundreds of colleges around the country that offer the classes you will need in order to complete your sonography class work. There are also bachelor’s degrees available in medical sonography from more than two dozen universities around the country.

A typical two-year program might require prerequisite class work such as taking a class in medical terminology as well as anatomy and physiology prior to entering the program, and there may be several other classes you must take prior to entering the program at the college of your choice. Once you enter the program, you will take a wide variety of classes related to your career choice, including classes that offer hands-on clinical experience.

During your clinical experiences, you will learn how to use many different types of ultrasound equipment. These ultrasound machines might include GE ultrasound equipment, Philips ultrasound machines, Voluson ultrasound machines, portable ultrasound machines and much more. You also will be learning how to interact with patients and health professionals.

After you complete your class work and clinical experiences, you will have to obtain enough hours of training to sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams. These also are known as ARDMS exams. Students will take one exam known as the SPI (Sonography Principles and Instrumentation) exam, as well as exams that fit within the student’s corresponding specialty. For example, if you wish to earn a credential as a Registered Vascular Technologist, you must pass both the SPI exam and the Vascular Technology exam. You can take multiple exams if you wish to gain certification in several areas, which definitely can increase your ability to obtain a job.

The History Of Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound machines are used for a variety of purposes, especially as a helpful diagnostic tool for physicians. This technology also is used to detect objects that otherwise would be difficult for humans to find, such as wreckages of ships under the sea. Ultrasound also can be used for cleaning and detecting nearly invisible flaws in various products. Here is some interesting information about the history of ultrasound technology.

Ultrasound equipment uses sound waves to produce an image, and these sound waves are at a frequency greater than what our human ears can detect. While this might seem like modern medicine, ultrasound waves have been studied since the late 18th century. By studying echolocation by bats, physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani developed the first theories of ultrasound physics in the 1790s.

Throughout the 19th century, ultrasound physics continued to be studied and several ultrasound transducers were invented. After the sinking of the Titanic, noted physicist Paul Langevin developed an ultrasound detector that could locate objects beneath the surface of the sea. This detector was used to find submarines below the ocean surface during the first World War.

As the 20th century progressed, researchers discovered uses for ultrasound technology in the field of medicine. As early as the 1920s, ultrasound technology was used for physical therapy purposes, such as relieving the pain of arthritis and other types of chronic pain. It also was used in sports medicine to relieve the pain of sprains and muscle strains.

In 1942, neurologist Karl Dussik invented the first ultrasound device to be used for medical diagnoses. His device was used to detect tumors in the brain. Just a few years later, in 1948, Dr. George Ludwig developed ultrasound equipment that could detect a gall stone. By the early 1950s, ultrasounds also were being used to detect tumors, and the first echocardiogram also was performed successfully.

In the late 1950s, ultrasound technology was introduced into the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, and the first 3-D ultrasound images were produced in the 1980s by Kaznouri Baba, a Japanese obstetrician and gynecologist. Today, millions of parents receive their first glimpse of their young child using sonography. More importantly, it can help detect problems with fetal development which provides parents and physician with critical information.