Radiology sets up a gear at Silverstone


Formula 1 drivers, crew and spectators at this year’s British Grand Prix can be reassured that should they be injured or taken ill at the event, Silverstone will have the some of the best mobile radiology equipment of any circuit in the world. A consultant radiologist and team of radiographers will join more than 100 volunteer clinicians and paramedics at Silverstone, aided every step of the way with more than £500,000 worth of cutting-edge equipment provided by Philips Healthcare.

The Philips touchscreen Sparq mobile ultrasound and Mobile Diagnost wDR digital x-ray systems will enable swift diagnoses for the extreme trauma scenarios and emergency care that medics at the British Grand Prix are primed to deal with. The imaging team is able to use the intuitive systems after just a short training session with a Philips applications specialist.

Silverstone’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ian Roberts said: “The Sparq really is the top of the range for our ultrasound requirements and the system’s FAST scanning mode plays a significant role in trauma, enabling medics to see almost instantly whether a casualty is suffering from internal bleeding. Philips has provided the most up-to-date equipment and this level of support makes our job as medics so much easier.”

The FIA – motorsport’s governing body – has very stringent safety requirements and any driver who experiences an impact or sudden deceleration of more than 15g triggers a sensor in their car and is compelled to undergo immediate examination at the Medical Centre. The provision of super-fast medical imaging can determine whether a patient should continue treatment at the medical centre or whether they need to be transferred by Medevac helicopter for specialist surgery.

The Silverstone Medical Centre, located trackside along the Wellington Straight, opened in March 1995. It has been transformed over the last ten years, thanks to support and equipment donated by Philips Healthcare, into a small high-tech hospital.

Philips has also donated monitors, defibrillators and ECGs to Silverstone, as well as training staff to operate the latest equipment.

The Medical Centre is open 355 days a year and treated 1800 people in 2011. Past patients include F1 legends Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and Moto GP rider Cal Crutchlow. Even Sir Sterling Moss popped in for treatment once, as a spectator.

Veteran volunteer radiographer Matthew Rayner, from George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, said: “It can be a real challenge sometimes as we never know what’s coming in and we really have to use our initiative. But on a hot summer’s day Silverstone is the best place to be – and even on a rainy day, it’s just great to be here and be part of the team.”



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