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../Morning Post
Posted August 25 , 2010
Health Care

Grand River Hospital makes arrangements for patients to receive care during MRI down-time

Waterloo Region - Grand River Hospital has made arrangements for patients to receive urgent and emergent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans while upgrades to the hospital’s MRI unit and repairs to the area housing the scanner itself continue.

Magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate images of organs and tissues. MRI scans help detect tumours and other abnormalities. About 90 per cent of patients receive MRI scans on an elective and outpatient basis.

“This summer, we scheduled down-time to complete the upgrade to the MRI, and address some recently-detected water damage to the building structure housing the unit,” said Jenny Rajaballey, GRH vice-president of diagnostics, mental health and redevelopment. “While preparing for repairs to the floor and radio-frequency shield of the MRI unit, we determined we would need some extra time to complete our work.”

“Our plan is to make sure patients who need urgent or emergent scans receive them, and conduct the needed repairs and upgrades.”

GRH’s MRI service was scheduled for a 12 day closure at the start of August, which will now last until early September. When the MRI is re-opened, GRH will schedule additional shifts on weekends and continue to redirect patients, when necessary, to help manage the backlog of cases the shutdown has created.

Grand River Hospital has made arrangements with Guelph General Hospital to conduct MRI scans for GRH’s in-hospital and emergent patients. High priority and urgent outpatients are also receiving support through KMH MRI and Health Care Centres in Kitchener as well as Credit Valley Hospital. GRH greatly appreciates the support of partner hospitals and MRI providers in helping patients receive scans.

Upgrades to the MRI unit taking place during the shutdown include new coil technology to provide better imaging resolution and shorter scan times, software to determine the chemical composition of abnormal areas and new breast imaging software. Donors to the Grand River Hospital Foundation have supported fundraising to help purchase upgrades for the MRI unit.

“We’ve worked to minimize any inconvenience for patients,” said Ms. Rajaballey. “We want to finish this repair as thoroughly as possible to make sure the MRI works well for years to come.”

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