J.C. Blair's New MRI Unit Meets Final Approval

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) recently awarded J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital's Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Department its final approval for the new wide bore MRI system. The award recognizes that the hospital's new MRI has undergone a rigorous inspection of the facilities, equipment, and safety standards to meet the Department of Health's standards of care.
 
In August 2014, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital replaced in its previous MRI scanner with a state-of-the-art wide bore GE 1.5Tesla Optima 450W scanner. With this upgrade, patients up to 500 pounds can be scanned. The wider bore also helps to alleviate claustrophobia. 
 
An MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that creates high resolution images of the body using a powerful magnet combined with radio waves. This MRI system combines the high-field magnet technology preferred by physicians with the increased bore space desired by patients to result in the highest levels of patient and referring physician satisfaction.
 
Historically, MRI equipment would be classified as either a "high field" system or as an "open" system. However, the GE Optima 450W combines the benefits of both while eliminating the drawbacks of each. For example, "open" MRI systems do not produce the same image quality as closed systems because the magnet is open, not circular, thus resulting in a compromised "low field" exam. Similarly, conventional high field MRI equipment has a bore width of only 60 cm whereas the new GE Optima 450W has a bore width of 70cm resulting in 36% more space and an "open" feeling for patients. 
 
Some of the specific benefits to the wide-bore scanner include higher quality images, reduced exam times and advanced functionality for spine and vascular studies. 
 
J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital is the only facility in the area to offer Mavric imaging, a technique meant to improve soft tissue and bone imaging in patients implanted with metal joint devices. The Mavric imaging improves the way in which these joint devices are seen on imaging, reducing distortion that makes it impossible to see the soft tissue surrounding the implant. Before this technology, doctors used x-rays to image metal implants but were often unable to see the soft tissue around the implant, sometimes leading to biopsy or exploratory surgery. 
 
"With our new MRI system, patients are able to receive the highest quality scans locally," said Larry Garman, Director of Radiology. "The radiologist and ordering physicians are now able to see higher detailed images and patients are now able to enjoy a more comfortable MRI experience without traveling."
 
J.C. Blair's Radiology Department invites the community to an Open House of the new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Suite on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Guests will have an opportunity to meet the MR technologists and radiologists, tour the new MRI Suite and view the intricate details of internal organs that the new studies produce. Refreshments will be served.  RSVPs are appreciated by calling 643-8833.
 
To schedule an MRI or other medical imaging appointment, call (814) 643-8624. For more information, go to www.jcblair.org.