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New MRI facility for Middlemore

New MRI facility for Middlemore

Residents living in Counties Manukau now have access to a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) System, located at Middlemore Hospital. The MRI is the first to be on site at Middlemore and is part of Counties Manukau District Health Board’s (CMDHB) commitment to maintaining state-of-the-art equipment in our community.

MRI is one of the most advanced procedures physicians use to diagnose many conditions or injuries. It uses strong magnetic fields and radio frequency waves to produce pictures or images of internal organs, muscles, connective tissue or the central nervous system.
An MRI exam gives physicians a wealth of information which may not be apparent on any other tests, procedures and even exploratory surgeries.

In the past, MRIs were performed off-site, requiring many inpatients to be transferred back and forth via ambulance. The MRI service had been provided by MRI Ltd at the periphery of the hospital campus up until now. An issue has been sending sick patients in an ambulance to MRI Ltd to be scanned. This is not good for the patients’ well-being and means that doctor and nurse escort time is increased. Having the MRI on site will improve the patient 'experience' and comfort and reduce the necessity for escorting patients to MRI Ltd.

Doctors can now keep their patients in the hospital with quicker diagnosis and access to results. “Our staff are very enthusiastic about expanding our services at Middlemore Hospital to include an MRI scanner,” says Radiology Service Manager, Paul Hewitt. “The new MRI magnet provides outstanding image quality. Scan times are shorter than older units and patients can bring in their own music CD’s to listen to during the scan. This results in a better overall patient experience.”

This CMDHB service will cut waiting lists but this is likely to be offset by the current growth in MRI scans being requested. This situation will be assisted by MRI Ltd who will continue to support CMDHB to ensure waiting times are minimised.

Having MRI on site also allows CMDHB Radiology to provide a much wider scope of diagnostic imaging and will serve to attract Radiologists and MRT's to the department.

A specially designed room to house the MRI was built. “The space was designed to meet the exact requirements of the advanced technology it contains,” says Project Manager Graeme Purdie.

“For instance the room that houses the six tonne magnet, that is at the heart of the powerful new MRI system, was literally built around the machine. The room is shielded with a metal cage against incoming FM radio waves, which distorts the computer generated images. The room is also acoustically lined and is detached from surrounding structures to prevent noise transmission during scans."

- Ends -

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