The Italian-French Concordia scientific station is located on a 10,500 foot mountain 620 miles from the coast in one of the most inhospitable places on earth — Antarctica. The station houses 80 scientists during the continent’s three-month summer and about 14 people during the nine-month winter.
A staff physician provides medical care at the station year-round. Winter temperatures can dip to -120 degrees Fahrenheit so emergency evacuation is possible only during the brief summer. This makes reliable medical imaging capabilities an essential requirement for survival.
A CARESTREAM DRX-Transportable System/Lite, which includes a tablet PC and a wireless digital image detector, captures patient X-ray images that help medical staff diagnose and treat broken bones, hypothermia, abdominal colic and other illnesses and injuries.
Using advanced satellite technology, patients’ medical images can be transmitted to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome so the Antarctic-based physician can consult with specialists to help with diagnosis and delivery of appropriate medical care.
“In a hostile and unforgiving environment, this digital X-ray system is a great help for our expedition,” according to Fabio Catalano, a medical consultant to the Antarctic research facility. “The DRX-Transportable System/Lite has proven to be fully able to meet our needs especially in emergency situations. We appreciate its intuitive user interface and ease of use.”
The scientific station was created to provide logistical support for the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA). When the mission was completed in early 2005 the station was transformed into a permanent scientific research facility.
X-ray systems from Carestream are used in some of the most challenging and unusual places in the world. The company’s digital X-ray units can be found at a hospital near Mount Everest Base Camp; onboard the Africa Mercy floating hospital ship; and one unit was loaned to a zoo in Lisbon, Portugal, for use in an arthrodesis operation on the shoulder of a Sumatra tiger.