With a magnetic pull more than 30,000 times that of the earth's own magnetic field; Mon General Radiology Services is operating a new state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine in its Hazel Ruby McQuain Tower.
MRI is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of a patient's head and body. Physicians use these detailed, clear images to identify and diagnose a wide range of conditions.
The Philips Panorama 1.0 Open High Field MRI is in use from 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The hospital's MRI suite is located on the second floor of the hospital, near Emergency Services. The MRI suite consists of a control room, the MRI room, and shell space for a second MRI which could be added sometime in the future if there is enough demand.
Typically the new MRI is used on thirteen outpatients and two inpatients each day. Each procedure takes about one hour.
The Philips Panorama 1.0 Open High Field MRI is ideal for patients that are claustrophobic. Instead of the patient being placed in a closed MRI, which resembles a long tube or tunnel that is open on both ends, the patient lies on a table which moves left to right and in and out of the scanner. Patients don't feel like they are trapped in a barrel.
An MRI can be used on just about any area of the body. While a traditional CT scan, which uses x-rays, is ideal for viewing bones, MRIs provide high quality images of soft tissue, ligaments, tendons, musculoskeletal structures, arterial structures, and the brain. The MRI is also equipped with software to perform cardiac and breast MRIs.
A variety of "coils" are used to focus the MRI on specific parts of the body.
Because the magnet is always on and the magnetic field it creates is 30-60,000 times the earth's magnetic field, the MRI and MRI control room are very secure. Warning signs are posted on the doors, which are kept locked and can only be accessed by authorized personnel. All metallic objects have the potential to become dangerous projectiles if they get near the MRI machine.
A Ferromagnetic Scanner is located outside the control room. Patients entering the MRI suite are asked to step into the Ferromagnetic Scanner. The device flashes and sounds an alarm if it detects any metallic objects on a person prior to entering the room.
In addition, a special questionnaire is given to patients, asking if they have any implants or metallic objects. The patient, and any person who accompanies the patient, are also screened by the MRI personnel prior to entering the MRI suite.
Devices that cannot be taken into the MRI scan room include hearing aids, portable oxygen tanks, cleaning equipment, and any and all loose metallic objects. Those with implants such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, neurostimulators, intraocular implants, and cochlear implants cannot have an MRI exam performed.
If the patient has any other types of surgical clips, they need to check with their doctor to see if an MRI can be performed. There is no real preparation for an MRI. To check in for your MRI test, please come to the Radiology Registration area off the main lobby.
Our MRI program is ACR (American College of Radiology) accredited.
For more information, patients may call (304) 598-1280 to speak with an MRI Technologist.