A new MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine weighing 6.5 tonnes has been installed at Lismore Base Hospital this week as the $320 million redevelopment continues.
The state of the art Philips Elition X 3T MRI will be part of the new Imaging Department within the North Tower that is currently under construction.
This new MRI will bring innovative technology to the region, providing the opportunity for 50 per cent faster scan times at 60 per cent greater resolution than the old machine, which has served the hospital since 2012 and has taken around 9.6 million images.
Lismore Base Hospital General Manager, Ian Hatton, said the existing MRI currently in use was not suitable to be transferred into the new building, as it was nearly due for replacement.
“We’re taking this opportunity to purchase a new machine, one that can scan without the need for patients to hold their breath and it can correct for movement much better than the old machine,” Mr Hatton said.
“These new features can reduce the amount of rescanning by 70 per cent.
“The inbuilt immersive audio visual features including synchronised video and music also means an improved experience for all patients. This, combined with an 80 per cent noise reduction, also makes the MRI better for children and claustrophobic patients.”
The MRI was lifted in through the side of the building by a crane due to its size and weight.
A specially designed room has been built to house the MRI, with copper lining to shield images from radio frequency interference when in use.
The new North Tower, to be known within the hospital as “F Block”, will provide increased inpatient capacity, a greater range of critical care services, and improved facilities for patients and staff.
The North Tower construction is on target for completion in December 2019, followed by a commissioning period and staged relocation of existing departments during the first quarter of 2020.