High-tech (and heavy) MRI loaded into new hospital
The largest piece of equipment in the new Mills-Peninsula Medical Center was loaded into its new home via a construction crane this week.
Inserting the powerful, high-definition GE 3T MRI (magnetic resonance system) was quite a feat. The 3T MRI weighs 27,000 pounds (about the weight of three African elephants), according to Chris Ovlen, senior project manager for the hospital replacement team.
“It took about five hours to crane the magnet in to the building and roll it into the room,” Chris said. “It took another four hours for the preliminary connections.”
Once craned into position, getting the MRI through the building presented another challenge. The path of travel within the building was planned with oversized cross-corridor door frames to accommodate moving large equipment minimal disruption to the building itself, Chris said.
Construction teams then placed the MRI into the imaging room by opening up the walls to the room (a 27,000 pound magnet won’t fit through the room doors).
“The room is actually partially built around the magnet,” he said.
The new 3T MRI weighs more that twice as much as Mills-Peninsula’s current 1.5T MRI (12,000 pounds or about 1.5 African elephants). The existing MRI will also be moved in to the new hospital as soon as the existing hospital closes its doors.
MRI systems are used in radiology to visualize internal body systems. It can be used for brain imaging, cardiovascular diagnosis and spine and bone studies.
The GE 3T MRI was manufactured in, and trucked from, Florence, South Carolina, on a flatbed truck designed for MRI transport.
The magnet’s power is mind-boggling. The magnetic strength of the 3T (or 3 Tesla) magnet is about 60,000 times that of the earth’s magnetic field, Chris said.
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