Loading
Search
TOP STORY

Small Ashland hospital goes big with unique robotic X-ray machineSubmitted: 02/20/2017

Play Video
ASHLAND - Hearing your medical provider gasp usually doesn't mean anything good.  But Laura Christianson admits the first time she saw one of her hospital's newest piece of machinery it left her stunned.

"It literally took my breath away when I saw it move," Christianson said.

For five years, the radiologic technologist at Ashland Memorial Medical Center captured images of broken bones or torn muscles on machines -- some 16 years old -- often in separate rooms. That changed at MMC last fall.

"You set up an exam and all you have to do it pretty much just push a button and it moves to where you want it to move to," Christianson said.


The hospital bought and installed the Siemen's Multitom Rax robotic X-ray machine in October. The "Rax" moves where Christianson wants it, when she wants it, and how she wants it. The machine can do fluoroscopy, diagnostic X-rays, angiography, and 3D imaging all in one room.

"By the push of a button it just moved by itself," Christianson said of the machine.  "[Patients are] kind of just sitting there like, 'Oh, cool, this is neat. I've never seen this before.'  So, I think they're interested in it as much as we are."

Getting used to the machine took a little bit of time. Technologists had about two days to practice on it before they used it on a real person. But in the end, the experience is better for the technologist, the doctor, and the patient themselves.

Patient Sarah Stroshane tore tissue in her shoulder.

"I literally just sat there and everything moved around me," Stroshane said.

Moving her arm into set positions doesn't feel very good, so the new machine helped her stay comfortable during exams.

"The technologists do a great job of explaining things to you," Stroshane said. "It makes you feel comfortable and to be able to do this in our own hometown rather than have to travel an hour, hour-and-a-half away to do it, I think it's pretty great."

The machine is unique too. Just a handful of hospitals in the entire country have one installed. Siemens doesn't release specific numbers of machines sold. But, the company says the first machine to go into a U.S. facility was at the University of Utah in June 2016. The machine was first cleared by the FDA in November 2015.

Ashland Memorial Medical Center staff says its machine was the third to be installed in the nation.

"This is kind of innovative," MMC Director of Radiology Joanne Wendt said.  "Everything all in one room for us. We don't have four separate rooms or the space to necessarily do those different modalities in each one."

It's innovation that comes with a big price tag. Memorial Medical Center paid $600,000 dollars for its machine. But doctors say it cuts down on radiation exposure, costs the patient less, and increases the things doctors can see and treat.

"There is a great sense of pride," Wendt said. "It was nice the hospital instilled confidence in our judgement to pick the correct machine."

The robotic machine is a tool Laura Christianson expects other, larger hospitals to start buying soon.

"You wouldn't think of something this big being in our little hospital that we have," Christianson said.

Newswatch 12 reached out to three Northwoods medical providers to see if any has the Siemens machine. Aspirus has had the robotic surgical tool da Vinici since 2007 and uses a 64-slice CT scanner, but it doesn't have the robotic X-ray machine.

A Marshfield Clinic spokesman says its Minocqua facility also does not have the Siemens machine. A Ascension Health spokesman did not respond in time for air.

The nearest facility with a Multitom Rax is in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Story By: Lane Kimble

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story



 LOCAL NEWS

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - This weekend many of us may have seen images of a pickup truck falling through the ice on Lake Michigan. Some trucks even fell through the ice in Wausau.

So, how safe is the ice in the Northwoods?

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says this time of year the ice can melt fast, so anglers should be aware of it. He says it also depends on the lake.

"We've seen anywhere some still on the Rainbow Flowage 24 inches of ice out there this last weekend," Walz says. "A few other lakes we've seen it as thin as six inches of ice."

Walz said no one fell through the ice this weekend in the Northwoods.

No matter the temperature, even if it's below zero, it's never a guarantee that ice is safe.

"Just remember, it's never 100 percent safe out there," Walz said. "It's always at your own risk."
Walz said you should always fish with a partner for safety.

The last day ice shanties can be on lakes is March 19.

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Pet lovers may be pampering their pets a little extra Monday in honor of National Love Your Pet Day. Squeaky toys, dog treats, cat nip, and even doggie desserts are just a few ways people give their pets a little extra love on Love Your Pet Day.
But there are plenty of shelter dogs that could use a little extra care all the time. If you can't adopt Forest county humane Society president Jay Schaefer wants you to come play with the dogs and cats at the shelter. "It's a way for people to get over their pet fix, or if their renting an apartment, or their in a point in their life where they can't have pets right now," said Jay.
Jay invites anyone with a passion for animals to come out to walk, cuddle, feed and play with the dogs or cats in the shelter. "If they can't go out for a walk…they just want somebody to spend five minutes with them….and then you're like the Fairy godmother in a Disney movie," said Jay.Pet lovers may be pampering their pets a little extra Monday in honor of National Love Your Pet Day. Squeaky toys, dog treats, cat nip, and even doggie desserts are just a few ways people give their pets a little extra love on Love Your Pet Day.

But there are plenty of shelter dogs that could use a little extra care all the time. If you can't adopt Forest county humane Society president Jay Schaefer wants you to come play with the dogs and cats at the shelter. "It's a way for people to get over their pet fix, or if their renting an apartment, or their in a point in their life where they can't have pets right now," said Jay.

Jay invites anyone with a passion for animals to come out to walk, cuddle, feed and play with the dogs or cats in the shelter. "If they can't go out for a walk…they just want somebody to spend five minutes with them….and then you're like the Fairy godmother in a Disney movie," said Jay.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - You can keep your pajamas on and stay barefoot to shop at one grocery store in the Northwoods.

The "Rosie" app on smartphones and online is changing how you shop.

You can order any food item at Save More Marketplace in Minocqua with a couple taps on your screen.

"I print the list you guys have chosen for the items you want," said in-store shopping expert Steph Coy.

She will load up the cart, checkout, then bag your items for delivery to your house or pick-up in store.

Save More Marketplace started using the shopping option in October.

"It's a convenience for customers who don't have the time. It is a convenience for customers who can't leave their home," said Save More Marketplace president Jim Gauden.

It costs a little extra; up to $5 if food is delivered to you.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - The woman accused of illegally taking her kids to South Dakota for months faced a judge on Monday in Langlade County.

Cathy Brown is charged with a felony, after interfering with a custody order.

11- year-old Averie Brown and nine-year-old Dalton Brown were reported missing from their school in November.

They were found safe with their 37- year- old mother in Hill City South Dakota in January.

Brown appeared in court for an initial hearing via video from the Langlade Jail, and her attorney Lindsay Erickson appeared by phone.

+ Read More
+ More Local News



 REGIONAL NEWS

HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

+ Read More

WAUKESHA - A judge has ruled a second Wisconsin girl's statements to police will be admissible at her trial on charges she tried to kill a classmate to please a fictional horror character called Slender Man.

Judge Michael Bohren on Monday also rejected a defense request to move the trial of 15-year-old Anissa Weier out of Waukesha County. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Weier's trial is set for Sept. 11.

+ Read More

HUDSON - Authorities in western Wisconsin say a 28-year-old man fatally stabbed his mother and then shot at police during a chase that ended when he killed himself in Minnesota.

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies were called late Saturday to "a violent domestic dispute." The sheriff's office says Logan Reese stabbed his mother, 49-year-old Charlene Wold, and beat another family member at her home near Hudson.

+ Read More

Play Video

PLOVER - A 19-year-old man robbed a Plover gas station at gun point Saturday at around 1:30 a.m.

According to the Plover Police Department, a white male wearing dark clothing showed a handgun and demanded cash at the Moto Mart Gas Station on Plover road.

+ Read More
+ More Regional News
Search: 









Click Here