- $2.46m MRI unit based at King Edward Memorial Hospital for first time
- On-site access for women, children and newborns at KEMH reduces clinical risk
- Supports MRI service at Princess Margaret Hospital
Giving children the chance to choose a colour for their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is now possible at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) thanks to a new technologically-advanced unit, made possible by funding from the State Government, Telethon and Imaging West.
Officially opening the MRI department at the hospital today, Health Minister Kim Hames said the new equipment included an option to personalise the scan by colour selection of the lighting, plus a mobile television that played a range of DVDs for children to watch during the examination.
"This is an important new service for women, newborns and older children and specialists at King Edward Memorial Hospital will be using the latest technology in scanning equipment, with features that help make the hospital experience less daunting for children," Dr Hames said.
"Apart from being able to choose your favourite colour the MRI scanner is a wide-bore system, which is designed to reduce claustrophobia for patients.
"The scanner has cutting-edge technology, making it excellent for all kinds of imaging, but it will be of significant benefit for neonatal brains. The improvement in resolution and technology allows specialists to see and identify subtle changes, so it's very exciting."
The Minister said having an MRI scanner on-site at KEMH not only made access easier but it would allow patients to have their scans performed earlier, allowing treatment to start sooner, leading to better outcomes for patients.
"To avoid transporting babies, particularly those who are very sick or who require respiratory support, is really significant," he said.
"It takes pressure off the Neonatal Emergency Transport Service and reduces the risk of babies becoming destabilised."
PMH outpatients requiring a MRI will use the KEMH service, which is particularly suited to musculoskeletal and neurological investigations, such as patients with epilepsy or multiple sclerosis. The on-site scanner also means women requiring gynaecological examinations and assessments during pregnancy will have their appointments co-located.
Dr Hames said MRI technology was a powerful tool for investigating complex foetal issues and as it was non-ionising, there was no risk to the mother or foetus.
- MRI is a diagnostic imaging scan to investigate and diagnose health conditions/diseases, especially gynaecological cancers and endometriosis
- MRI department was funded by the State Government ($1.97 million, including for construction works), Telethon ($1.14 million) and Imaging West ($984,793)
Minister's office - 6552 5300