Discover how to effectively maintain your mobile C-Arms for optimal patient care

A C-Arm is an image intensifier that works to create higher intensity x-ray images. On an X-Ray machine, the C-arm connects the x-ray source and the x-ray detector. It derives its name from the shape which also allows for coverage and flexibility while in use. C-arms have a wide range of mobility that allows medical professionals to get real-time images of any part of the patient’s body, even mid-procedure.

C-Arms are complex machines that require routine maintenance to continue functioning properly. With routine maintenance, you can extend their lifespan. Keep reading to understand some common maintenance challenges and how to address them.


Common Issues with C-Arm X-Ray Machines

Grainy or Unclear Images:  Images from C-arms should be clear and sharp. If you are seeing grainy or blurry images your device might need to be recalibrated.

X-ray Tube Failure: The X-ray tube is a crucial piece in the overall function of your C-Arm. Over time the X-ray tube may become pitted due to improper heating or cooling, develop cracks or begin leaking gas, both of which break the vacuum needed to operate the C-Arm.

Image Intensifier Failure: Image intensifiers are essential to the functionality of C-Arm machines, but their lifespan is notably shorter than the C-Arm machines themselves so over time all image intensifiers will fail and need to be replaced.

Low mA Error: A low mA error may also be a sign of X-ray Tube failure, but in some cases, it can be traced back to low battery issues or filament calibration. 

Full or Damaged Hard drive: Generally speaking, you should not fill the hard drives to more than 70% of their total limit.

Damaged or Drained Battery:  C-Arm batteries have a limited lifespan just like other types of batteries. Sometimes troubleshooting your C-Arm can be as simple as just purchasing and installing a new battery.


How to extend the lifetime of your C-Arm X-Ray Machines

Perform Regular Maintenance: The most effective way to keep your machine functioning properly is to detect issues as they arrive and to perform regular machine maintenance. Pay special attention to all mechanical assemblies routinely check and replace batteries to improve performance.  

Always Keep Batteries Charged: Even when the machine is not in use it should remain plugged in and charging. C-arm X-ray machine batteries last longer when they are regularly kept at full charge.

Clean Your C-Arm Machine Regularly: It is crucial that you keep all areas of your machine clean and free of dust and regularly check and replace fan filters as needed.  Dust build-up can lead to electrical failures and other issues which are easily avoided by keeping the machine clean and dust-free. 

Always Protect your C-Arms during Procedures: Using protective drapes helps avoid having your machine soiled with contrast media or human/biological contaminants. Any contamination to your machine causes increased risk to both the machine and patients.

Set Sleep Timers on Monitors: C-Arm monitors have a sleep mode that allows you to select how long until the machine will go to sleep after being idle. Shorter sleep mode times are better for your C-Arm machine because when images are left on-screen for extended periods of time it can begin to degrade your monitor.


Keeping Your C-Arms in Optimal Condition 

C-Arm machines are built to last when they are properly used and maintained. Be proactive about routine maintenance and always have a reputable parts supplier available when you need to replace parts quickly.


Sourcing replacement medical imaging equipment parts

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