Here are the top five tips to bear in mind when purchasing a new or used C-Arm:
1. Consider a Refurbished C-Arm
Costs can be reduced by purchasing a reconditioned C-Arm. Ensure that both the image intensifier and x-ray tube are new. Similarly, if the camera tube is over two years old, it should be replaced with a new one. The software should be the latest version available.
2. Differentiate Between Essentials and Desirable Extras
Features like laser positioning in C-Arm equipment are undoubtedly helpful but they’re not essential. The more desirable-but-not-essential features the equipment has, the bigger the price tag will be.
3. Use Surgical Data
A fundamental source of data for assessing the essential features of any new C-Arm equipment is the hospital or PCT’s surgical requirements. A much less expensive mini-C may be perfectly adequate for podiatry and orthopaedic centres, although, for example, oncology and pain management centres will require the full body C-Arm.
4. Demo the Equipment Before Deciding
It’s advisable to test a prospective C-Arm unit to see if it really fits the bill. This is the only way to realistically assess the unit’s mobility, ease of use and image quality. This means actually using it in surgical procedures and assessing its effectiveness. It’s also advisable to make an onsite evaluation of radiation emissions to verify that it really does conform to the manufacturer’s ratings.
5. Warranty, Training and Servicing
To get the best out of a C-Arm, staff will need to know how to use it. Check that the manufacturer offers adequate training and check that a preventive maintenance programme is included in the package. The warranty should cover parts and labour for at least the first twelve months.