Mercy Installs Latest MRI & CT Systems in the World

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May 13, 2011 

A crane hoisted a 10,000 pound magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system into the newly completed Imaging Suite at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo on April 26. The state-of-the-art MRI system is part of an estimated $5 million capital project to enhance imaging services and improve access and comfort for patients.

The centerpiece of the project, which began last November, involved enclosing an open courtyard within the hospital to create a new MRI/CT Imaging Suite. The Siemens Magnetom Aera® 1.5T MRI system, and the Siemens Somatom Definition Flash® CT scanner that was installed in March, represent the most advanced technology available anywhere in the world and Catholic Health’s Mercy Hospital is the first healthcare facility to use this leading edge diagnostic imaging equipment in Western New York.

“This new imaging suite featuring the Aera MRI and Flash CT scanner is an exciting step into the future,” said Michael Reilly, vice president of Primary Care and Imaging Services at Catholic Health. “Not only are we bringing the latest advancements in diagnostic imaging to our community but we are enhancing the patient experience with easier access and convenience for our patients.”

  • The new MRI system features a large, 70-centimeter, open-bore (the center round core of the MRI) that will accommodate a large variety of body sizes, shapes and conditions.
  • The MRI’s short magnet allows many studies to be completed with the patient’s head outside the bore, reducing sedation rates and minimizing stress for patients.
  • The Tim® (total imaging matrix) and Dot™ (day optimizing throughput) workflow engine inside the system ensures that hospital staff can gain detailed images and high efficient scans for diagnosis. 

Mercy Hospital is also the first in the Buffalo area to use the Flash CT, one of the world’s fastest CTs with the lowest dosage of radiation exposure. Within five seconds, physicians can study crystal-clear, 4-D “movies” of the brain, heart, lungs and blood flow from every angle—allowing faster, more reliable assessments that can save lives.

“We are extremely grateful to the construction crew who worked tirelessly through the harsh, winter months to build this new imaging suite and the team who flawlessly executed the delicate installation of the MRI,” noted Reilly. “Beginning its journey at the Siemens plant in Germany, the MRI needed to be lifted by crane over the top of the hospital and lowered into a large exterior opening on the roof of the suite to reach its final destination.”

According to Peggy Jetter, Director of Imaging at Mercy Hospital, the new MRI system will be operational in a few weeks while Imaging staff currently undergo rigorous training and instruction to prepare for the changeover to this new system.

“This state-of-the-art imaging suite exemplifies Catholic Health’s ongoing commitment to compassionate care and medical excellence,” added Reilly.