X-ray imaging is a relevant diagnostic modality for patients with COVID-19 disease, especially if the availability of other diagnostic methods becomes limited due to a rapid increase of infected patients. In many locations isolated areas are set up for the diagnosis and therapy of COVID-19 disease to manage the increased number of patients. There are solutions available to integrate X-ray machines into these isolated environments.
Clinical considerations that support X-ray as a highly suitable solution
- Chest X-ray (CXR) imaging is the most common exam in emergency departments, standing exams are the gold standard for chest X-rays1, 2 , and might be necessary for baselining
- Medium and severe cases, i.e. pneumonia, can also be seen in 2D, triaging is important to keep CT available for severe cases
- Stationary X-ray allows standing chest X-rays as well as lying chest examinations in a patient bed in extra allocated rooms
- Staff can stay inside the X-ray room and does not have to move between control room (“clean” environment) and X-ray room ("infectious" environment)
- Mobile X-ray systems are used to follow-up on particularly severe cases, since the device is driven to the patient in the intensive care unit, for example, and the patient does not have to be transported through the hospital effortfully
- Viral testing (RT-PCR) is considered the first-line test to diagnose COVID-191. However, CXR or CT can be helpful in the initial assessment of severity and monitoring of disease progression, if clinically indicated for severe cases2.
- Most patients with a higher disease severity show abnormal chest radiographs3.
- Typical radiographic findings include airspace opacities, ground-glass opacities (GGO), and consolidations4.
X-ray Products as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Evaluation of pneumonia with radiography
Radiography supports initial assessment of severity and monitoring of disease progression. Chest radiographs can show characteristic signs of viral acquired pneumonia. MULTIX Impact5 is a flexible, modular radiography system which covers a wide range of clinical requirements. Siemens Healthineers offers specific solutions for deployment in temporary COVID-19 diagnostic and therapeutic setups. These systems can also be installed in in stationary indoor and outdoor container solutions to provide access in high-demand or isolated areas.
Monitoring and triaging of pneumonia with mobile radiography
Mobile radiography systems help with the monitoring of disease progression in particularly severe cases. The devices can be driven directly to patients in the intensive care unit, for example, eliminating the need for patients to be transported through the hospital. MOBILETT Elara Max6 offers improved hygienic conditions thanks to antimicrobial coating, fully integrated cables, and smooth and closed surfaces.
Preventing contaminated medical devices in the context of COVID-19
Patients infected with COVID-19 which undergo exams in medical devices might transmit the disease via contamination of the systems surfaces. Disinfecting the systems after each patient is recommended.
Read our recommendations how to prevent contaminated medical devices.