(Logan, UT) July 19, 2010 - The most advanced wide-bore magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tool for helping physicians diagnose patients’ injuries and illnesses will be hoisted by a crane through a partially disassembled wall today and moved to its permanent location at Logan Regional Hospital. The new wide-bore MRI weighs 13,000 pounds and is one of only a handful of these sophisticated MRI units in the state of Utah.
With a bore — the opening the patient slides into during a test — that is 15 percent larger than the hospital’s existing MRI unit and shorter scan times, patients who do not like the feeling of being closed in and larger patients will feel more at ease during an MRI test. After today’s move, the remaining construction of the room, installation, and calibration of the equipment will take approximately one month. Hospital administration expects to begin using the MRI unit for patient procedures in September.
“We are really excited to bring wide-bore MRI capability to Logan Regional Hospital,” said Paul Marshall, lead MRI technologist. “Now we can take care of our patients with physical constraints locally that we previously had to transfer to Layton or Salt Lake to receive an MRI.”
The addition of the new wide-bore MRI complements and extends the range of quality imaging services that Logan Regional Hospital offers patients. “The number of patients who need MRI services at Logan Regional Hospital has outgrown what we can provide with just one unit,” said Mike Clark, hospital CEO. “When we determined we needed to purchase a second MRI, we made the decision to buy the wide-bore MRI to provide the very best care and technology possible to our community.” He said that even though the cost to purchase the wide-bore MRI was higher than the cost of other MRI units, Logan Regional Hospital’s charges for the services provided with the new wide-bore MRI will be equal to charges for the same services on the hospital’s existing MRI unit.
An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of organs, tissues, or blood flow from many different angles inside the body. Most MRI units, including the new wide-bore MRI, look like a large doughnut. The patient lies down on a movable table that slides into the opening. The movable table on the new wide-bore MRI can accommodate patients up to 500 pounds compared to 350 pounds on the existing MRI unit. Additionally, the distance from the patient’s face to the inside surface of the new MRI unit is nearly doubled when compared to traditional MRI units. For patients with concerns about small spaces, that extra distance makes the procedure much more comfortable. During the test, the MRI unit creates a strong magnetic field around the patient, and radio waves are directed at the body. The procedure is painless.
The new wide-bore MRI, called the Optima MR450w, at Logan Regional Hospital is manufactured by GE Healthcare. It is the first wide-bore scanner in GE Healthcare’s long line of magnetic resonance innovations. According to GE Healthcare, the Optima MR450w’s field strength is the industry’s best known and most used. The design makes it possible to scan more anatomy with fewer scans compared to previous generation systems. GE said they took more time than other manufacturers to introduce this wide-bore system because they wanted to deliver a system without compromise.