Increased demand leads to need for new MRI machine

Monday at Logan Regional Hospital crews hoisted, by crane, an advanced magnetic resonance imaging tool into place through a partially dissembled wall at the hospital. The new wide-bore MRI weighs 13,000 pounds and is one of only a handful of these sophisticated MRI units in Utah. “It’s going to take three to four weeks to put it all together and get it calibrated,” said Doug Thompson, Logan Regional Hospital Director of Communications. The hospital’s Director of Imaging, Lance Stephenson, said the new machine can image almost any part of the body. “It’s particularly good looking at soft tissue,” he said. “We do a lot of brain scans, spinal cord, joints looking for tears. Knees, hips, shoulders, that kind of thing. It’s a great tool to help physicians diagnose problems or illnesses in people.” Thompson said the growing number of Logan Regional Hospital patients needing MRI services drove the purchase. “The machine we have in use now is an excellent machine, but it’s being used from six in the morning until ten at night. The demand was getting bigger than our ability to respond. We felt in adding a new machine we should get once that could add to the services we can offer to the community.” Most MRI units look like a big doughnut. “This one is just a bigger doughnut,” said Stephenson. “The inside of the bore is actually four inches larger. While that doesn’t sound like it’s a lot, when you’re inside it really makes a difference, especially for larger patients and for claustrophobic patients. It puts them much more at ease with just that little bit more room inside.” He said the new machine will allow for decreasing some of the scan times because of the size and the frequency the magnet uses. Stephenson anticipates the hospital will start scanning patients with the new machine the last week in August.

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