We decided to write this article after a recent mistake. A facility purchased an OEC 9900 C-Arm with monochrome monitors listed on the specifications. However, the 9900 they received came with a color monitor and a monochrome monitor. At the site's request we dispatched a service engineer to swap out the color monitor for a monochrome.
In the end, the problem was resolved and everyone was happy, but it brought to mind a point that is easy to take for granted: Not all OEC 9900 C-arms were manufactured with matching monitors. There are many 9900 units on the market with one monochrome monitor and one color monitor.
What are they for?
At the beginning of OEC 9900 production, a color monitor was installed on each unit, intended for use in C-arm-guided lithotripsy and endoscopy procedures as well as integrated fluoroscopy/ultrasound studies. They were always paired with a monochrome monitor and mounted on the right side of the cart. Like their monochrome counterparts, OEC color monitors change in response to the ambient light sensor. Color monitors are also equipped with applications for surgical navigation.
In more recent years, OEC has discontinued the inclusion of a color monitor. This is because monochrome monitors offer higher image contrast, a feature preferred by physicians who use their C-arms for more general applications.
What if I have one/need one?
If you already own an OEC 9900, whether you have a color monitor on your system already or need one to accommodate future work, your system can be converted to the monitor setup that you need. We corrected our mistake for the facility mentioned earlier in this blog free of charge but, depending on your individual circumstances and who your provider is, a monitor swap may or may not involve additional costs.
If you have yet to acquire your C-arm, be clear with your equipment provider about your needs. If you intend to work in litho, scope, or ultrasound, make it known that you will need either a 9900 from a model year when color monitors were stock or that you will need a monitor conversion included in your purchase.