July 24, 2003

Mobile MRI Machine Arrives At SCMH

Scotland County Memorial Hospital has taken the next step in a big leap towards modernizing the hospital's radiology department with the arrival of the facilities new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) service that made its first stop at SCMH on Tuesday, July 22.

The hospital will be offering MRI tests through a mobile unit that will be available in Memphis at the hospital every Tuesday.

"For those unfamiliar with an MRI, this imaging source uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to produce the image," said radiology director Angela Hawes.

The MRI test can detect tumors, infection, and other types of tissue disease or damage. It can also help diagnose conditions that affect blood flow. It is most useful for detecting conditions that increase the amount of fluid in a tissue, such as inflammation, infection, tumors, and internal bleeding.

Patients utilizing the MRI are asked a number of detailed questions by the technologist performing the exam. He or she then is transported to the MRI unit, which is housed in a mobile trailer set up on the south side of the hospital. The patient is brought to the trailer and put onto the hydraulic lift for entry into the procedure area.

The procedure table is gently slid into position prior to the start of the procedure. The patient will be asked if they would like to listen to music during the procedure as a way of helping them to relax.

The technologist monitors the scanning to ensure that patient comfort and picture quality is the best at all times. The images are displayed on the monitor for viewing by the tech and printed off for a permanent record.

After the test is completed the patient is escorted back to the hospital and the films are taken to the radiologist to be read.

"Health Enterprises is providing us with one of the best patient friendly scanners on the market," Hawes said. "The unit is capable of handling larger patients and is more open to reduce claustrophobic rejections by patients."

The new MRI services join the hospitals new Cat Scan equipment and will soon be joined by a new Ultrasound machine to allow the facility to provide the most updated, state-of-the-art services as they are found at much larger facilities in urban areas.

"We are striving for excellence to keep you close to home so you don't have to travel miles for quality health care," Hawes said.

MRI appointments are scheduled by physician referrals through the radiology department at the hospital. For more information contact the hospital at 660-465-8511.

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