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Which C-Arm Should I Buy?

October 9, 2013

Today you can be faced with many choices when deciding to purchase a mobile c-arm. Although most are appropriate for the majority of procedures, some may be particular good for the procedures you perform. Of course, the first consideration must be financial. You certainly can't purchase a $150,000 unit if your budget is maximized at $50,000. Let's look at some of the choices.

If you have decided that you will only consider a new c-arm, the field is limited to the major manufactures such as GE-OEC, Philips, Siemens and Ziehm, all who produce excellent products. Also, secondary manufactures including companies such as Genoray and Comed, both Korean organizations with US presence who offer excellent products. Although you may not be as comfortable considering one of these products, millions of Americans now drive Hyundai's and Kia's the reason is, they have a good product at a more competitive price that performs similar to its US and Japanese competitors.

These new full sized mobile c-arms range in price from $70,000 to $275,000. Your choices of features range from units that provide basic fluoroscopy for pain management procedures to units designed to accommodate cardio-vascular and/or neuro-vascular procedures. The new high end units are now equipped with flat panel digital detectors in place of traditional image intensifiers. View fields range from 9 to as large as 15. Image monitors are also high resolution flat screens used in conjunction with high performance software. Obviously, as the features become more robust, so does pricing, therefore it is important to determine exactly what is required and how much you can spend prior to begin looking.

Models you may want to consider are the GE-OEC 9900 series, the Philips Veradis Neo, BV Pulsera and the BV Endura, the Siemens Arcadis line and the Compact L and the Ziehm Vision line and the Solo. The Genoray line includes the ZEN-2090 Pro and the ZEN-7000. Comed offers the KMC-950.

If you have decided that you do not want to make a substantial investment in a new system, you may want to consider a fully refurbished pre-owned unit. The truth is, not much has really changed with the c-arm fluoroscopy technology. You can purchase units produced in 1990 for a little as $12,000 or late model units built in 2008 for $90,000 and up depending on features and software. The only difference between these units is they may have CRT monitors, images may not be a crisp as a new unit but certainly adequate to handle most procedures. They either produce Dicom information or can be retrofitted with devices that enable both extended storage and distribution of both patient information and images.

There are many units to choose from. The most popular include the OEC 9800, OEC 9600, OEC 9400, OEC 9000, OEC 7700/Compact. The Philips BV Pulsera, BV Endura, BV 300, BV Libra, BV 29, BV 25. The Siemens Arcadis, Siremobil Compact L, Siremobil Iso-C, Siremobil Compact, Siremobil 2000. The Ziehm Quantum, Vista, Exposcop 7000, Exposcop CB7-D.

Choosing a supplier for a refurbished system may be almost as important as choosing the correct unit. Important issues include receiving a detailed proposal with specifications, having a tech set up the unit and provide training on how to operate it. Make sure system manuals are included, estimate for inside delivery charges and warranty information. Service contracts generally range from $8,000-$15,000 per year substantiating the value of the warranty coverage. Make sure the supplier provides a FDA 2579 form showing the system information to be provided for US, state and local regulatory agencies.

An imaging table may also be required if purchasing a c-arm for a facility that has not used a c-arm in the past. There are many different to choose from ranging from 4-leg economy tables to multi movement with diving board (cantilever) style top tables. These c-arm tables range in price from $2,500 to upwards of $35,000.

Lastly, it would be wise to choose a member of the International Association of Medical Equipment Resellers and Servicers (IAMERS) to provide your equipment. Members of this organization subscribe to providing quality products, honest representations while upholding the highest level of ethics and customer service. If you are considering a supplier whom is not a member, you just may wonder why they don't or can't participate? Not everyone can qualify and there are about 150 members worldwide.

Contact us for additional information.

Med Imaging System Sales       www.missales.com

NCD Medical Company             www.ncdmedical.com

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