Hospital installing MRI machine

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt General Hospital has upgraded their technology and equipment with the recent arrival of a magnetic resonance imager (MRI) machine.

“It’s called a Vantage. It’s state of the art to produce high resolution images for doctors,” said Robert Schneider, senior customer engineer for Toshiba.

Equipped with silent technology, the MRI is able to produce images of the head, cardiac areas, extremities and can do whole body scans.

The time it takes to complete a scan is dependent upon the type of study being done, Schneider said.

Though the machine itself is at the hospital, it will take an additional amount of time to have the machine up and running. A cabinet, called a power conditioner, is being installed to power the MRI. The purpose of the cabinet is to clean the power that comes through to ensure that no unwanted variables are in the electricity supply, said Philip Fields, facilities management director at RGH.

A specially designed room was built by Fry Construction Co., out of Carrollton, Texas, to house the unit, Fields said.

“It’s a specially shielded room so the magnetic field doesn’t spread too far. It keeps it contained,” Fields said.

Before the machine itself is up and running, it has to be charged. A chiller will chill the unit to 4 degrees Kelvin, which is around 270 degrees below zero. Once the unit is charged it will stay that way indefinitely, said Schneider.

The MRI being installed at the hospital is bigger in diameter and shorter in length than most other machines. For those that are claustrophobic, this is the best machine to combat the phobia. The closest comparable MRI unit is in Roswell, Schneider said.

According to RGH administrator James D’Agostino, the new MRI machine will be a big help to the doctors, since it will make MRIs available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.

Since the opening of the hospital in 2001, a mobile MRI has been available to patients one day a week. Testing on patients would begin at 8 a.m. in the morning and sometimes last until midnight, D’Agostino said.

“It’s very cumbersome for our patients and we wanted to try and improve that service to our people,” D’Agostino said.

Several additional special services will be available with the new MRI. Those services will include muscular skeletal scans, breast scans, and several heart and cardiac programs, D’Agostino said.

“It’s the latest and greatest in technology,” D’Agostino said.