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Linear Accelerators: a Brief Guide to Removal

Linear Accelerators: a Brief Guide to Removal

Looking at a linear accelerator, it is not hard to imagine how difficult it can be to remove one from a medical facility. Not only is it a sophisticated and expensive piece of machinery, but it is also, to put it mildly, huge. To make matters more complicated, this behemoth is surrounded by patients, doctors, and other medical staff hurrying about in the busy hive of activity that is a medical center. Getting one of these out of your facility is no small undertaking.

Despite this, there is quite a lot you can do to minimize the stress and complexity of the actual removal of your machine. This involves careful planning and the right team to facilitate the process. At R.O.S., we strive not just to guide you through this process but to be your partner in executing a successful, efficient, and stress-free removal.

SAFETY

The first thing to consider before even beginning is safety. Here are some, but not all, of the key steps to ensuring a safe removal:

  • Block off all areas that will be needed for the removal of your linear accelerator. This includes parking lots and side streets when necessary.
  • All measurements taken should be precise and accurate in order to prevent any emergency vault door removals that can pose a risk to patients and personnel at your facility.
  • Turn off water and lock and tag power to the room where your linear accelerator lives in order to prevent any injury to your rigging team. This should be completed by facility personnel to avoid any dangerous mistakes by those unfamiliar to the facility’s utilities.
  • Have a plan to handle any hazardous materials. You can read more about this at our blog “Older Accelerators with Depleted Uranium Counterweights”.

Adhere to all health protocols of your facility to minimize risk to patients or patient care. This includes but is not limited to immunizations for your rigging team, HIPPA compliance, and containing dust and noise as much as possible. Most rigging companies will strive to complete a job after hours and on weekends to be conscientious of patient care and facility schedules.

Request proof of your vendor’s liability insurance.

BUDGETING

Of course, removing a linear accelerator is not a cheap endeavor. This does not mean, however, that there is nothing you can do to mitigate costs. Here are some tips to ensure you are not spending more than you need to in removing your machinery:

  • Planning and transparency
    • Plan meticulously with your team in order to prevent any confusion, miscommunication, or logistical errors that could lead to a longer, more expensive, and ultimately, more unpleasant experience. Everyone involved and affected by the removal process should be filled in and consulted. Transparency will save you extra expenditures that could have been prevented through thorough planning.
  • Timeframe
    • Plan the removal during a time when disruptions to existing operations will be minimized. It’s often less costly to pay extra for a removal during a holiday than to cause disruptions to your center.
  • Parts credit
    • If the machine you plan to remove is still in operational condition and complete, you may be eligible for a parts credit, which will help in reducing some of your costs. Note this does depend on year, make, model, and the overall condition of your accelerator.

EXECUTION OF REMOVAL

Now that you have a better idea of pre-planning considerations, here are some key points regarding the removal of your linear accelerator:

  • Accurate measurements
    • All measurements should be accurate and precise. A rig info sheet should be filled out and turned in to your vendor prior to their arrival. This prevents any surprises in doorway size that could inhibit an efficient removal of your machine.
  • A clear rig path
    • While this may seem to go without saying, there should be nothing in the designed rig path for your linear accelerator. Remove all furniture and extraneous items that could get in the way of removal.
  • Prepare for a loading area to be set up
    • Often you will need to take into consideration the transportation method for your removed machine. If your linear accelerator will leave your facility via semi-trailer, for example, it is a good idea to block off side streets and sections of the parking lot to ensure a safe exit from the facility property.
  • Note any accessories or extra equipment and plan for removal
    • It is a good idea to remove any accessories that accompany your linear accelerator at the same time you plan to remove the main equipment. Rather than spend extra time and money on multiple removal days, if possible, see if you can accommodate everything in the same day.
  • Communicate the plan for your newly cleared room
    • Depending on your plans for your new room (adding a new accelerator, repurposing for storage, renovation etc) there may be extra processes, like a base frame removal, that you must take into consideration. Discuss these with your rigging team to see what the best plan is for you and your facility.
  • Plan for a final walk-thru
    • Ensure that the process went smoothly and as planned by walking through the rig path and former home of your linear accelerator with your rigging team.

Now that you have a better idea of all the moving parts (literally) that must be coordinated in removing a linear accelerator, we would like to again emphasize the importance of having the right team. ROS has over twenty years experience, professionalism, and creativity in equipment placement and removal, and we are also prepared to be your partner throughout the entire process. You deserve to have a conscientious, reputable, and reliable team by your side every step of the way.

We hope that we provided useful information about the removal of your linear accelerator and that you will rely on ROS in the implementation of this process.

Ed Brown

About Ed Brown

Ed has expertise in a variety of areas, including sales, logistics, project management and customer support. Ed’s work within the firm involves scheduling and managing large equipment projects, working with customers, vendors and support specialists.