TWO advanced mini X-ray imaging machines are now in full use at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, with the aim of reducing delays and freeing up radiographers.

The machines, known as Mini C-arms, allow surgeons to take their own X-rays and home in on specific areas of the body without the need of a radiographer to be present.

The C-arms are designed to be able to x-ray smaller joints such as wrists, ankles and hands during surgery.

The introduction of C-arms to Forth Valley will drive down waiting times by freeing up radiographers from having to move X-ray equipment around the hospital and assembling them in theatres.

Jennifer Gilchrist, radiology manager at NHS Forth Valley, said: “The mini C-arm is a very versatile and mobile piece of equipment which makes it easier for surgical staff to manoeuvre the equipment into any position they wish to help provide a clearer view of the area being operated on.

“It also reduces the radiation dose patients receive due to the smaller field of view, and smaller distance between the X-ray tube and detector.

“In the past, theatres could require up to four radiographers at the same time to deliver the X-ray service required during surgery.

“These new X-ray machines have helped free up our radiography staff and enable them to X-ray other patients more quickly.”

Surgical staff across NHS Forth Valley have been trained on how to use the new equipment, which can help review images of the bone and check pins and plates inserted.