Out with the old…

September 9, 2013

in Local

The MRI unit at Bothwell, installed in 2001, was uninstalled and removed from the property Sept. 9  in anticipation of a new, larger MRI, which is 30 percent faster and accepts patients weighing up to 550 pounds.

Bothwell Regional Health Center is improving patient care by upgrading its magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) capabilities. Work began late last week to prepare for installation of a new 1.5 Tesla MRI at the hospital.

The health center was notified late last month that it received a certificate of need from the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee for the new MRI, which replaces the unit installed in 2001. The new MRI will give the health center and referring physicians greater capabilities in detecting and diagnosing disease.

“This is a significant investment and part of the hospital’s ongoing efforts to provide our patients with the best possible technology for their care,” said Bothwell President and CEO John Dawes.

An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. The scans are read by radiologists and help physicians diagnose disease or determine the severity of certain injuries.

Work on dismantling the existing MRI at the hospital began last week and will continue for the next few weeks.

There will be no interruption in MRI access or quality of test results during this time. The hospital will use a mobile 1.5 Tesla MRI unit stationed on the northeast side of the hospital until the new MRI is installed. The strength of the magnet in the mobile unit is the same as the hospital-based MRI. Installation and calibration of the new permanent MRI is expected to be complete in early December.

Patients will benefit from the new MRI in a number of ways:

• The new unit has a larger opening and is wider so patients are less likely to feel claustrophobic.

• The new MRI computer is 30 percent faster, so scans will take less time. It also has software that enables the hospital to take into account metal items, such as rods, joint replacements or shrapnel, during the scan.

•The software also allows complete abdominal scans on patients who can hold their breath for only 10 second intervals. This allows for motion-free scans with more clarity on patients of all ages.

• The new MRI will accept patients weighing up to 550 lbs.

The room housing the new MRI will also be refreshed in anticipation of the equipment’s delivery in late October. A new fire suppression system will be installed, and the equipment room will be modified for the new computer equipment, which is smaller and more compact.

In addition to the MRI at the hospital, Bothwell also has an open 1.0 Tesla MRI located at the Bothwell Diagnostic Center at 10th and Winchester.

The old unit, which weighs around 30,000 pounds, will most likely be sold. It was placed on a waiting flatbed on East 13th Street, strapped and bolted down, and hauled away by Belger Cartage Service, based out of Oklahoma City. The entire process of removing the old unit took about six and a half hours. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.

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