July 19 2005 - MOTHER FRANCES HOSPITAL SECOND IN TEXAS TO OFFER NEW MRI FOR OBESE AND CLAUSTROPHOBIC

Press Release - July 19, 2005
MOTHER FRANCES HOSPITAL SECOND IN TEXAS TO OFFER NEW MRI FOR OBESE AND CLAUSTROPHOBIC PATIENTS

 
For Immediate Release

July 19, 2005

Contact:
John Moore
Media Relations
(903) 531-4542


NEW OPEN MRI OFFERS MORE PATIENT COMFORT
Mother Frances Hospital Installs Regions' Most Powerful Open MRI Second Facility in Texas to Add New Technology

TYLER, TX - Mother Frances Hospital has installed the region's first Open Bore, 1.5 Tesla (measurement for magnetism), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that combines a larger bore (opening) for obese and claustrophobic patients with powerful imaging technology. The Siemens MAGNETOM Espree with Tim* (total imaging matrix technology) dramatically changes and improves magnetic resonance imaging with clarity never before available. In addition to bringing MRI technology to a group of patients that previously could not access it, Mother Frances' new MRI has the ability to capture high-field quality diagnostic images, which were previously unavailable in open MRI's.

The only other MAGNETOM Espree in Texas is located in Dallas.

"This is going to increase patient convenience and the number of patients who can access the MRI in a day," said Ray Thompson, FACHE, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Trinity Mother Frances Health System. "The patient-friendly design of this magnet will make it easier for large patients and those with claustrophobia to have a MRI examination which produces higher quality images. This will potentially reduce the need to repeat and interrupt exams."

The MAGNETOM Espree installed at Mother Frances Hospital features a bore opening of nearly 2.3 feet in diameter and almost one foot of free space between a patient's head and the magnet. The Espree also features the shortest 1.5 Tesla magnet available. Approximately four feet long, the magnet allows more than 60 percent of exams to be completed with the patient's head outside the bore, helping to ease claustrophobia.

"Mother Frances Hospital has led the way in the region with new medical technology," said Chris Glenney, vice president of operations, Trinity Mother Frances Health System. "Just as we feel that all cardiac and surgery patients deserve the latest cutting-edge advancements in equipment, patients needing MRI imaging deserve the same access. This innovative medical imaging technology is used for the visualization, diagnosis and treatment planning of cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular disorders and other diseases associated with obesity."

Since two-thirds of American adults are overweight, the health-care industry is challenged to accommodate these larger patients with imaging systems that were designed for people who weigh much less. Currently, patients too large to fit inside the bore of a high-field MRI magnet have image studies done in open MRI systems with low-field magnets. This limits the diagnostic usefulness of the images obtained. The field strength of a magnet is measured in units of Tesla - the higher the number, the higher the field strength. The higher the field strength, the better the quality of images produced.

Claustrophobic patients present another challenge for MRI systems. They can be sedated, adding to their inconvenience and the time it takes to schedule and perform an exam.

The new system provides up to four times more signal-to-noise ratio over traditional open MR designs, which is desirable in imaging larger patients. In addition, the Espree can perform advanced clinical applications in less time, because it combines strong gradient performance with Siemens' Total imaging matrix (Tim*) technology. Tim is the first whole body surface coil design that enables the highest resolution images in a shorter acquisition time. Tim coils are very light, making them both easy to position and tolerate when scanning larger patients, improving cooperation.

The MAGNETOM Espree provides best patient comfort and high-quality images and diagnostic confidence for all types of patients. For more information on services available through Trinity Mother Frances Health System, visit www.tmfhs.org.

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