July 2014 Edition - Health Matters

Health Matters The latest news on the health and wellness issues that matter most • July 2014


The machine dares to go where other MRIs cannot, always with one goal in mind, a better patient experience.

NCH’s North Naples Hospital has joined a small collection of medical centers across the country that currently house the new GE Optima MR450w, a state-of-the-art MRI system. It’s the only hospital in SW Florida to have such technology. The machine dares to go where other MRIs cannot, always with one goal in mind, a better patient experience. One of the most crucial patient benefits is connected to the MRI image itself. “The sequences (images) have become sharper and more definitive. Smaller body parts you couldn’t previously see with older machines are now visible,” explained Jim Bates, NCH Director of Radiology. “Diagnosing is much easier.” On top of that, procedures that were once dicult can be accomplished with ease. Bates cited an example: “A metal implant would typically distort an image and prevent getting any diagnostic information. With this new software, metal is no longer a problem. This is just one of the many procedures the new MRI has made less complicated.” On a more emotional side, it’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortable and anxious during an MRI scan. The Optima MR450w attempts to ease these problems as well. The machine’s bore is wider while the length is shorter, giving patients a sense of openness. This helps ease claustrophobia. “A lot of MRIs are still fairly confining. While lying down, not being able to pull your hand up toward your face is the norm; in this machine, it’s possible,” Bates stated. “It might feel like a

small accomplishment, but keeping the patient at ease can be a crucial part of getting the scan a physician needs.” When dealing with smaller children, this openness allows their parents to be more present during the procedure. “Moms can still be talking to them, touching them and holding their hands. This calms them down, allowing the technologist to get the necessary scans,” Bates said. Another variable directly related to a patient’s emotional experience is time. On older MRI machines, for each body part that needs to be scanned, the technologist has to move the patient, remove the coil and replace it with a new one for the next body part. “On the new machine, all the coils are built in. You can scan a patient from head to toe, without relocating the coils,” Bates said. This is much faster and easier on a patient who can only tolerate lying on the table for so long. Also, MRIs are notoriously loud. It does not take long for the banging to annoy or upset a patient. The Optima MR450w is the first MRI machine to introduce a quiet scan. While this is not possible for every scan, certain sequences (specifically those dealing with neurological scans) are now quieter. While someday they hope for this to be the norm, currently it’s one giant advantage to the new machine. “Overall, the patient experience is a much more positive one due to the improved MRI technology available now,” Bates said.

For more information about the Optima MR450w call (239) 624-4400. To schedule an appointment (physician order required) call (239) 624-4402.

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