J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital received the 58 ton crane delivery of the permanent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) suite on Tuesday, July 14, 2009. The suite traveled by a 140-ft. long by 14-ft wide tractor trailer from Wisconsin and created a bit of a traffic jam rounding the corner of Moore and 14th Streets Monday evening. Patients and staff will now be able to access the MRI suite through a hallway in the Radiology Department bringing the service fully in-house. Patient comfort will increase as they no longer have to travel outside for access to MRI studies.
J.C. Blair Receives Delivery of Permanent MRI Suite
J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital MRI patients will now experience increased comfort as J.C. Blair brings MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) services in house with the installation of a new and permanent MRI suite delivered on July 14, 2009.
“It will be a nice environment for patients,” J.C. Blair’s Chief Radiologist Maria Pettinger, M.D., said. “Patients won’t have to go outside; it will be directly connected to the building.” Previously, patients would have to travel a short distance outside to the MRI trailer to have their studies done.
Similar to the previous MRI trailer that was stationed at J.C. Blair, this new GE MRI system features a 1.5 Tesla High Field system with a wider flared opening for greater patient comfort. In addition, updated computer software allows for stronger gradients which showcase more detailed, quality MRI images.
J.C. Blair has two full-time dedicated MRI certified technologists on staff to conduct MRI studies. “Both just completed dedicated training on this magnet. They have developed safety protocols that were previously handled by Alliance Imaging but will now be handled by J.C. Blair,” Pettinger shared. In addition to the technologists’ training, Pettinger completed 40 hours of training on this new MRI system.
J.C. Blair has offered MRI services through Alliance Imaging on a permanent basis via a MRI trailer unit since 2001. In 2003, J.C. Blair upgraded the unit to a 1.5 Tesla magnet. For the past year, Pettinger and Radiology Director Larry Garman have looked into the possibility of bringing MRI service in-house. “A lot of planning and research was involved in this. Larry and I made site visits to other local and regional hospitals to look at the different options.”
Patients may schedule appointments to have their studies performed in J.C. Blair’s new in-house MRI suite starting in mid-August. Patients will continue to have access to MRI studies in the MRI trailer in the interim. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call J.C. Blair’s Radiology Department at (814) 643-8624.
“With the exception of MRI, all other radiology studies continued as normal in the department on Tuesday despite the construction and crane equipment for the MRI delivery outside,” Garman said.
MR exams are used when people are ill or injured, or when a physician suspects a medical problem that is not easily detectable from a conventional physical examination. The GE Signa HDe 1.5T MR system non-invasively assists physicians in the diagnosis of a variety of anatomical areas, such as the head, abdomen and chest, including detailed imaging of the vascular system and major organs.
For more information about MR services at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, visit the Hospital’s web site www.jcblair.org/services/radiology.php or call (814) 643-8624.