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Southend Hospital improves radiation accuracy for patients with a UK-clinical first

17 November 2016

Health Care

Southend University Hospital has improved radiotherapy treatment and comfort for its lung and oesophageal cancer patients thanks to new equipment that it is the first clinical user of in the UK.

The EagleBoard, which patients lay down on when they are about to receive Radiotherapy, improves radiation dose accuracy to the chest and abdomen region. All of which has meant greater efficiency for the radiotherapy department and an easier set up and, crucially, better comfort for patients.

It's meant the hospital's Radiotherapy Department now have the ability to prepare for the latest advancement in radiotherapy, known as stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), which is used specifically for lung cancer patients.

Nadia Salama, Mould Room Technician at the hospital, said: "The EagleBoard has significantly improved the way we can position patients, increasing comfort and representing a huge step forward for radical radiotherapy lung patients. As radiotherapy treatment can often take 15-20 minutes to complete, it is crucial that the patients are able to stay comfortable and very still for this treatment time."

"Since using it we are now able to use a vacuum cushion, an additional piece of equipment, which support the patient's arms more than ever before and produces a firm impression of exactly where they should be positioned during treatment. This is a huge advantage for clinicians, ensuring optimum positioning.

The 'wings' of the EagleBoard are designed to fully support the upper arm and the adjustable hand grips can also be fixed in a wide range of positions to achieve greater comfort. It is fully adaptable, including the height of the hand grips, and can be used by all patients.

The Trust has two boards, one which is kept in its pre-treatment department, whilst the other is used in the linear accelerators.