Mercy Introduces Open-bore MRI

SPRINGFIELD — The Diagnostic Imaging Department at Mercy Medical Center has added a new open-bore MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) unit to its list of technologies used to help diagnosis possible illness and injury.
The new Magnetom Espree open-bore MRI is designed to accommodate patients of all sizes, including the obese, elderly, and children, and provides additional head room for patients who may become claustrophobic. As the most powerful open MRI now available, it also provides the highest quality of images to assure an accurate diagnosis, the hospital said.

In an MRI scan, huge magnets and radio waves are used to provide images of the brain, neck, spinal cord, and body tissue. Patients often find these exams unpleasant and uncomfortable, as they are required to spend long periods of time in a long, dark, tunnel-like machine, subjected to extremely loud noise. The new open-bore MRI uses the latest technology to provide a more comfortable and faster MRI scan.

“The open-bore MRI uses a shorter, wider, and more powerful magnet than the previous versions of open MRI, said Dr. Gregory Blackman. “As a result of the shorter, wider configuration, patients have more room and are more comfortable during the exam. This is important because patients who are comfortable have an easier time limiting their movement, allowing for a more accurate image.

“Also,” he added, “depending on which area of the body is being tested, many of the exams with the open-bore MRI are performed with the patient’s head outside of the system, allowing them to see the examination room and communicate with staff during the procedure.”

Vincent McCorkle, president and CEO of the Sisters of Providence Health System, said that “Mercy Medical Center is committed to delivering outstanding health care through the use of state-of-the-art technology. Our new open-bore MRI allows us to further that commitment, while increasing patient comfort and confidence in the accuracy of this diagnostic test.”

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