Norwood Hospital’s new 280,000-volt deep therapy X-Ray machine (called the Vanguard) has been in operation for approximately five weeks. This deep therapy unit is a treatment machine, as opposed to the conventional X-Ray, which is purely diagnostic. It produces gamma radiation which is used in the treatment of tumors in any part of the body; it can even be used as therapy for bursitis. And all treatments are completely painless.
The unit was installed at the Hospital to bring this type of treatment closer to the people in the area surrounding Norwood Hospital, both inpatients and outpatients. This installation has been particularly beneficial for patients who ordinarily would have to travel to Boston every single day for similar therapy.
The X-Ray therapy department is directed by Dr. John McDonald, Chief Radiologist and Dr. William Poulos, Associate Radiologist. Ceiling mounted and run entirely by push buttons, the machine is housed in a heavily leaded treatment room designed to protect both the operator and the employees in the hospital from excess radiation. The operator watches the patient through a lead-impregnated glass window after the machine is set.
Either superficial or deep therapy can be applied and various-sized cones, from 3/4″ to 6” in diameter, with other graduations in between, can be used to pinpoint the area to be treated.
The rays of this machine are measured in R’s or Roentgens (named for Conrad Roentgen, German physicist who discovered X-Ray), and are administered at the rate of from 30 R’s to over 100 R’s per minute depending on the required dosage. Treatment times vary from 1 minute to 6 minutes and a course of treatments can vary from 1 to 25 visits.
(All articles were originally published in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)