Medical Equipment Removal Specialist Ed Brown Talks Linac Removals
Removing a linear accelerator (LINAC) is a challenging process from start to finish, with every step requiring critical attention to detail and rigorous planning. Partnering with the right team is essential to ensuring a painless removal. Ed Brown, our resident medical equipment removal expert, discusses his experience with linac removals and gives his recommendations for facilities looking to remove their current machine.
[Editor] Ed, how many linear accelerator removal projects have you managed?
Ed Brown: I estimate, I’ve done around 340 linac removals over the past 15 years, not including de-installations of machines purchased for relocation. Most were older units that ended up in the scrap yard.
[Editor] What other types of medical equipment does ROS remove?
Ed Brown: Aside from linear accelerators, I’ve managed the deinstallation and removals of CT Scanners, PET/CT’s, Cath labs, Gamma Knife ® systems and X-ray machines.
[Editor] Do you concentrate in any regions, or do you do these removals all over?
Ed Brown: I’ve managed removals in 44 states in the continental US; and also Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. My colleague handles equipment removals outside the U.S., which we can do as well.
[Editor] Which, if any, states are the more challenging for this kind of work?
Ed Brown: Removals across the various states don’t vary that much in difficulty other than specific licensing requirements and shipping concerns. Sometimes the weather can be challenging, though. If you’re trying to do a removal project in the Midwest or the Northeast during a blizzard, you can have some difficulty, but I wouldn’t say any particular state is worse than any other.
[Editor] What have been some of the more challenging projects you’ve worked on?
Ed Brown: Once, we removed a machine out of the eighth floor of a hospital in Manhattan. You run into some problems when you have to block streets in crowded, downtown Manhattan. It’s going to be more difficult than removing from a ground floor straight out into a parking lot. Also, removing machines that are in basements sometimes require a crane to get them out. Sometimes, floor shoring is required so that the floor can support the weight of the medical equipment. But by far, the most challenging medical equipment removal projects are Gamma Knife ® Removals.
[Editor] What advice would you give hospitals or clinics seeking to remove linacs?
Ed Brown: When we send the equipment rigging and information questionnaires, the client should fill them out with as much detail as possible, as this makes the process much easier. Knowing the exact dimensions of doorways and hallways really helps me get a good understanding. This also helps us keep costs down so there are no last-minute surprises, like having to remove a vault door or other expensive undertakings. In general, provide as much information as possible. Good due diligence keeps costs down and ensures a quick and safe removal.
[Editor] How long does a linear accelerator removal project generally take?
Ed Brown: Most machines can be de-installed and rigged out in two and a half days. Some Elekta linac units can take up to four or five days if they are being relocated and reinstalled. And of course Gamma Knife ® systems take the longest – approximately eight days.
If you’re looking to remove your linear accelerator or other medical equipment, contact ROS to get the process started!