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VOLUME 19, NUMBER 9
MARCH 10, 1972
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
Duke First in N. C. To Install New X-Ray Machine
A new six million-volt X-ray machFfie,
which has distinct advantages over other
types of equipment in the treatment of
certain cancers, is now in use at the
The $175,000 linear accelerator is the
first medical installation in North
Electrons are accelerated.,within the
machine at speeds approaching the speed
of light—186,000 miles per second. When
the electrons strike a target area within
the machine and are stopped suddenly at
that high speed, they break up and emit
Dr. Patrick Cavanaugh, chief of
therapeutic radiology, said the new
equipment does not replace cobalt or
other types of therapy for cancer victims.
Instead, he explained, "it is a
high-precision, high-output instrument
which enables us to achieve a better dose
distribution in special situations that
This is particularly important, he said,
in the treatment of certain tumors, such
as those around the eye, which are
located near highly vulnerable or delicate
It also provides advantages in the
treatment of deeply located tumors. Dr.
S/X MILLION VOLT X-RAY EQUIPMENT—M\ss Alice McCrea, a radiation The equipment has an auxiliary
physicist at the Duke Medical Center, inspects a water tank used in testing the dose dose-plotting machine which provides
rate of a linear accelerator, an X-ray machine for treatment of certain types of cancer, three-dimensional images of the beam
Water is used for testing because it simulates the density of human tissue, (photo by which are then used in planning patient
Jim Wallace) treatments.
1971 Fiscal Year Sees Growth in Hospital Statistics
It was another record year for Duke
Statistics for the 1971 fiscal year show
that the number of inpatient discharges,-
the number of outpatient visits and the.
number of babies born were all up from
But the average length of stay per
patient was down from 10.16 in fiscal
1970 to 9.70 in fiscal 1971.
The total number of inpatients
disicharged (not including newborns) was
25,142, up about 2,000 from fiscal 1970.
Outpatient visits totaled 323,540 as
compared with just over 300,000 the year
before. The fiscal 1971 statistics show
that of these outpatient visits, 121,485
were to the public outpatient clinics.
172,091 to the private diagnostic clinics,
and 29,964 to the Emergency
New babies born at Duke during fiscal
1971 totaled 2,120 compared with 1,852
the year before.
As would be expected with the
increased number of patient visits, both
(continued on page four}