Crane lift brings in new MRI to SMC

  • Thursday, September 26, 2013

Air resonance—A crane lifts a new MRI unit into Summerville Medical Center Tuesday morning. The unit was too large to bring in by conventional means and had to be dropped into the hospital from above. PHOTO COURTESY BOB BEHANIAN/SMC


Summerville Medical Center received a new state-of-the-art MRI unit Tuesday morning. The suite was so large it was airlifted in from a crane and dropped down into the hospital.
The suite has  new features no other in the area does:
Imagine looking up at scenes of a Tahitian beach and listening to classical music as you have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan done at the hospital.
As Summerville Medical Center (SMC) upgrades its MRI suite, the hospital is adopting innovative changes to help ease patient anxiety. At the same time, the new scanner’s design and accompanying technology will allow more people to benefit from MRI scans, which can be an important diagnostic tool.
“We’re continuing to invest in state-of-the-art capabilities so our community doesn’t have to drive downtown for specialized treatment. Our nationally recognized quality care is the result of the technology we offer and the passion of our team,” says CEO Lou Caputo.
Highlights of SMC’s $1.9 million MRI makeover:
• New dimensions – SMC is replacing its current MRI equipment and adding GE Healthcare’s Optima MR 450W with the Geometry Embracing Method (GEM). The new scanner is quieter and more comfortable. The diameter of its inner tunnel (bore) is wider and shorter, so the patient won’t be as enclosed, helping to prevent claustrophobic reactions. The added width of the opening will allow larger patients (up to 500 pounds) to have MRI scans done at SMC. New technology will expand the types of neurological, pediatric and breast MRI scans available at SMC.
• A soothing, sensory approach – SMC is incorporating Caring Suite features with adjustable music, visual imagery and mood lighting. Before they enter the MRI suite, patients will be given an iPad that allows them to choose from a menu of options. Patients can bring in their own iPads or iPods if they prefer to listen to their own songs. “The whole goal is to give them some sort of control in an environment where they don’t feel like they have a lot of control,” says Director of Imaging Greg Williams. SMC is the only location in the Charleston area to offer Caring Suite.
• Mavrik capabilities - SMC will add in GE’s new Mavrik SL imaging application, which should make it much easier to read MRI scans of bone and tissue near metallic implants, such as joint replacements, or certain kinds of dental work. Kevin Morris, GE product specialist for South Carolina, says Mavrik is not being used anywhere else in the Charleston area, but has been well received in other areas. “The feedback that we’ve been getting so far is that the doctors are very impressed with it.”

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