A multidisciplinary hospital in Swindon has re-imagined patient restraint during imaging examinations by repurposing safety screens, brought in at the onset of the pandemic to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

The imaging department at Eastcott Veterinary Referrals, which is part of Linnaeus, has taken the initiative to start using a Perspex desk barrier initially purchased to help social distancing measures, as part of fluoroscopic examinations of patients at the practice.

This advanced imaging technique is used for esophageal studies and allows clinicians to view the inside of the patient’s body in real time, which requires the patient to remain conscious and in one position whilst eating a barium meal.

This transparent barrier now used at Eastcott acts as a sheep race of sorts and helps to keep patients as close as possible to the practice’s mobile image intensifier, while also limiting any sudden movement. This significantly improves the quality of images taken and reduces the amount of time taken per examination.

Nicholas Taylor, referral radiographer at Eastcott came up with the idea as the imaging process continued to provide challenges owing to difficulties in keeping patients still.

He said: “Unlike us humans, animals don’t understand the need to remain still and the process of getting these images was becoming quite challenging and time consuming. Often the length of the process would make the animal anxious and we would inevitably be going in circles.

“The idea came about when we were discussing how we could replicate the x-ray process in the human world, where machines are often very close to the patient’s body.

“We had a few spare desk barriers in the hospital and decided to give it go. We were so pleased at how easy it made the entire process, reducing the amount of time per exam, improving the quality of pictures and ultimately putting the patient at ease since they can see what is going on around them.”

Duncan Barnes, clinical director at Eastcott, said: “At Eastcott, we are always looking for innovative techniques to make procedures more straight-forward and this simple but effective idea is a great example of this.

“The up-cycling of this Covid-19 equipment is also an example of our team’s commitment to going green while also helping improve on the services we offer pet owners in the region.”

Eastcott offers expert care in cardiology, dentistry, internal medicine, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oncology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, laparoscopy, neurology, diagnostic imaging and CT, anaesthesia and analgesia and emergency and critical care.

For more information about Eastcott Referrals visit www.eastcottreferrals.co.uk or search for Eastcott Veterinary Referrals on social media.

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