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Diagnostic Imaging upgrades help physicians, help patients

Published 06/29/2017

South County Health’s diagnostic imaging capabilities have improved dramatically with the recently installed 1.5 MRI. Considered to be a top-of-the-line system in its class, the Siemans Magnetom Aera MRI was operational as of June 28, 2017.

According to Lenore Durand, manager of the Diagnostic Imaging department, the advantages of this new unit benefit patients and physicians who rely on imaging as a tool in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illness.

“Now we will bring breast MRI and biopsies into our program, which will be a tremendous asset for our Cancer Center. We’ll also be able to provide prostate scans, which we didn’t have the technology to do before,” Lenore said.

Among the benefits to patients:

  • Faster. A scan that used to take 45 minutes will now take approximately 25 minutes.
  • Comfort. Many scans can now be administered “feet first,” an advantage for people who feel confined in traditional “head first” systems.
  • Capacity. Patient weight limit is 500lbs.
  • Less noise. Patients will not be subjected to the “banging” associated with traditional MRIs.

In addition, patients with compatible, MRI conditional cardiac pacemakers will be able to have MRI exams when needed.

“Previously, no one with a pacemaker could have an MRI,” Lenore said.

The project began in April when construction crews dismantled and removed the existing MRI. During the transition, a mobile MRI trailer was brought to South County Hospital to provide uninterrupted service to patients. The new MRI was delivered and installed during the first week of June. Before being certified and approved for service, the device was calibrated and underwent extensive testing to ensure performance compliance.

For more information visit the diagnostic imaging webpage or call 401-788-1486.