Making a Real Impact
For Stratford General Hospital, receiving approval for a Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) machine last month and $800,000 from the province in annual
funding is a big step towards acquiring one of the most critical pieces
of equipment in a modern day acute care hospital – even though
there’s still the challenge of raising some $3.5 million locally
to purchase the machine and carry out renovations.
The real impact will be on patients. For many, having access to an MRI
close to home could be life changing—even life saving. From a
technical viewpoint, MRI uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic
field rather than x-rays to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures
of internal organs and tissues. It’s an essential tool for a fast,
accurate diagnosis of various cancers, stroke, brain tumors, multiple
sclerosis and other life-threatening conditions.
Detecting such diseases and conditions early makes them much easier
to treat,” explains Dr. Laurel Moore, Chief of Staff. Having our
own MRI machine will also mean less reliance on invasive procedures.
a target date of summer/fall 2011, the MRI is scheduled to operate 40
hours per week, providing area patients with over 3,100 scans each
year—helping patients to avoid the lengthy travel and ambulance
trips they must now endure.
- Over 3,100 scans a year or over 307,520 kms to and fro
- Large bore model accommodates large patients, patients
in pain or with mobility problems.
- The population size that SGH site
expects to provide MRI services to is 150,636.
- Huron and Perth counties
are the Central Region of the South Western Local Health Integrated
Network (SW LHIN). The health status of
the central region reflects an increase in chronic health conditions. There
is a higher percentage of bronchitis, hypertension, diabetes, and
heart disease. The obesity rate is 18.1 percent compared to a provincial average
of 15.1%. The mortality rate is 6% higher than the provincial average.
- Arthroscopy surgery performed by orthopedic surgeons can be replaced
by MR imaging. MRI has long been the preferred test for knee injury,
replacing the need for arthroscopy, eliminating a surgical procedure
- Stratford General Hospital site of HPHA will have
the capacity to perform paediatric MRIs.
- MRI is most often used to
diagnose brain and nervous system problems; bone, joint and muscle
disorders; tumors; certain heart and blood
vessel diseases; or cancer of the reproductive organs, liver, kidneys, lymph
nodes, bladder, pancreas or vocal cords.
- An Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) scan uses a powerful magnet and radiowaves to produce
superbly detailed views of the human body.
MRI does not use radiation.
- The biggest and most important component of an MRI
system is the magnet. There is a horizontal tube -- the same one the
patient enters --
running through the magnet from front to back. This tube is known as the bore.
- The strength of a magnet in an MRI system
is rated using a unit of measure known as a tesla. Another unit
of measure commonly used
is the gauss (1 tesla = 10,000 gauss). The magnets in use today
in MRI systems create a magnetic field of 0.5-tesla to 2.0-tesla, or 5,000
to 20,000 gauss. When you realize that the Earth's magnetic field
measures 0.5 gauss, you can see how powerful these magnets are.