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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

3 Of The Most Expensive Types Of Medical Equipment

by Francisco Arnold

Hospitals and health clinics can attest to the fact that medical equipment is expensive. In fact, with $93 billion a year being spent on medical equipment, it continues to be one of the health industry's largest expenses. Some hospitals try to save money by buying used equipment, which can be helpful. For certain types of equipment, hospitals can save up to 50% by buying used or refurbished instead of brand-new. When buying used equipment, medical equipment appraisals can help to determine its value so that hospitals aren't paying more than they should.

In order to save the most money, hospitals and clinics should always buy used when it comes to the following types of medical equipment, as these three are the most expensive.

1. CAT Scan Machines

Used to take cross-section views of the inside of one's body, most people recognize a CAT scan machine because it looks like a large doughnut. While it might have a funny look to it, this piece of medical equipment comes with a serious price tag of about $2.5 million for a new one.

Despite its expense, hospitals can't go without this vital piece of equipment as it can help to quickly diagnose emergent situations that can mean the difference between life and death. For instance, CAT scan machines can show bleeding in the brain, pulmonary embolisms, and aortic dissections.

2. MRI Machines

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and is similar to a CAT scan machine. However, an MRI machine provides a more detailed image, which can be better for diagnosing certain conditions, especially those pertaining to the brain and the spine.

For instance, MRI machines are often used to detect things like brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, and can help to determine the reason for headaches. This superior piece of diagnostic equipment costs about $3 million.

3. Robot Surgical Machines

Robot-assisted surgery lets surgeons perform complex procedures in a more precise manner. When robot surgical machines are used instead of a surgeon's hands, there is more flexibility and control, and the procedure is oftentimes less invasive. This is good news for the patient as less invasive means a quicker recovery and less chance of infection and other complications that are common with traditional surgical procedures.

Some of the most common types of robot-assisted surgeries include:

  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Gallbladder removal
  • Hip replacement
  • Hysterectomy
  • Mitral valve repair

Hospitals can expect to fork out about $2 million for a new robotic surgical machine.