Archive | July 28, 2010

LMC Technology Helps Crime Investigation


We’ve all seen TV shows where state-of-the-art technology helps solve crimes. That kind of work has now made its way to Lexington Medical Center. In a first-of-its-kind situation, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has asked the hospital to use its modern medical advancements to help with an unsolved case.

forensic artist rendering

A forensic artist rendering created by a CT scan at LMC

Last year, investigators found a skeleton in Horry County. They determined the remains belonged to a man who died of gunshot wounds. But they could never learn the man’s identity. That’s when they turned to Lexington Medical Center.

SLED asked Lexington Medical Center to perform a CT scan on the man’s skull. CT stands for computed tomography. The CT scanner uses X-rays to produce cross-sectional images of the human body.
In this case, Lexington Medical Center used a 16 slice CT scanner in its Radiology department. Precise measurements from the scan allowed forensic artists to recreate a model of the man’s face. The CT scan also generated a 3D image of the face. The scan has helped to create an accurate depiction of the man’s appearance. It’s believed to be the first time that SLED has called on a hospital for this kind of work.

“CT scans are an important piece of medical technology,” said Doug Weitzel, director of Radiology at Lexington Medical Center. “Not only do the scans provide highly detailed pictures to help identify and treat illnesses, but this case illustrates the important impact in an additional capacity.”

SLED and the Horry County Police Department are circulating images of the facial reconstruction. Anyone who recognizes the man should call the Horry County Police Department at 843-915-5350.

“I hope that Lexington Medical Center’s work helps solve the case,” Weitzel said.

Lexington Medical Center is home to many types of innovative technology in its Radiology department. Lexington Medical Center was the first hospital in South Carolina to perform Microwave Ablation, which can destroy tumors in an outpatient procedure that does not require surgery. Recently, Lexington Medical Center began performing Coronary CTA on a CT scanner, providing exquisitely detailed images of the coronary arteries. Lexington Medical Center also offers Calcium Scoring to check for calcified plaque in the coronary arteries as well as Vertebroplasty and Kyphyoplasty for patients with compression fractures.