New MRI machine arrives at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay

A new MRI machine arrived at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ont., on May 29. Kim Coulter/Ross Memorial Hospital

A new magnetic resonance imaging machine will be in use by the summer after being delivered to Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ont., on Monday.

A crane was used to lift the five-tonne MRI machine off a truck and a precision moving team directed the machine through the hospital’s Kent Street entrance to where it was inserted through an open wall into a renovated MRI room.

Hospital communications specialist Kim Coulter says the machine moving process “took all day.” The entire month of June will be required to get the MRI machine assembled, connected and tested. Staff will then be trained on the new technology, she said.

The new machine replaces the 12-year-old MRI that was also funded 100 per cent by donors through the Ross Memorial Hospital Foundation’s (RMHF) “Imagine the Future” campaign.

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Each month the hospital averages 500 patient scans. From 2011 to 2023, the hospital reports there were 70,000 patient exams.

The hospital says the new MRI machine has “cutting-edge technology” that will provide the sharpest image resolution and reconstruction to help doctors “confidently” diagnose disease and injuries in the brain, spine, joints, organs and breast. The machine also enables precision biopsy procedures, including breast and future prostate exams.

Inside the MRI room at Ross Memorial Hospital. Kim Coulter/Ross Memorial Hospital
The new MRI machine is brought into the renovated room and is expected to go into operation this summer. Kim Coulter/Ross Memorial Hospital

“MRI provides critically important information necessary for the best, safest patient care,” said Dr. Bharat Chawla, medical chief of staff. “The new MRI also connects to the hospital’s clinical information system, which means every image is automatically attached to the patient’s digital medical record and available to all care providers, including specialists in other regions.”

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The hospital says the new machine also offers tillable imaging coils that are more comfortable for patients with mobility challenges and has sensors to monitor a patient’s breathing and adjust for those having difficulty holding their breath for certain tests, such as abdomen or liver imaging.

The faster imaging will also help individuals in pain, who have limited mobility or who suffer from claustrophobia inside the scanner.

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Coulter said the campaign continues to fundraise for the $2.5-million project, which includes the MRI machine and room renovations, via the RMHF’s “We Are The Ross” spring appeal.

RMHF CEO Erin Coons says the support of donors helps health infrastructure to “keep pace” and meet the needs of the area’s growing population.

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“This transformation involves significant investments in technologically advanced medical equipment — including the MRI — that is not covered by government funding,” she said. “Donors’ support for the ‘We Are The Ross’ appeal plays an important part of these essential investments.”

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