Florida Hospital Flagler Installs New Open Bore MRI

A man prepares for an MRI.
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PALM COAST, Fla., March 22, 2016 With the help of a crane, Florida Hospital Flagler has begun installing a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that combines a larger bore, or opening, for obese and claustrophobic patients with the ability to capture high-field quality diagnostic images. The MRI is expected to be available for patients by mid-April.

This Siemens 1.5T MAGNETOM Aera with Tim at Florida Hospital Flagler has an opening of nearly 2.3 feet in diameter and almost one foot of free space between a patients head and the magnet. In addition, this MRI features the shortest 1.5 Tesla magnet available. At approximately four feet long, this allows more than 60 percent of exams to be completed with the patients head outside the machine, helping to ease patients claustrophobia.

We are really excited about this new MRI, said Dawn Durso, Florida Hospital Flagler imaging director. The design of this MRI is more patient-friendly than traditional MRIs, making it easier for larger patients and those with claustrophobia. Additionally, the new MRI has noise reduction software, so it will be a lot quieter for our patients, which means it will be a more comfortable experience.

Currently, obese patients that are too large to fit inside a high-field MRI have their image studies done in open MRI systems with low-field magnets. This limits the diagnostic usefulness of the images obtained.

In Florida, approximately 65 percent of adults are obese or overweight, and locally, that figure is a little higher than the state average with 68 percent of Flagler County adults considered obese or overweight, according to Healthy Weight Florida, a statewide initiative of the Department of Health. Because obesity can lead to many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer, it is imperative that these patients have access to high-quality MRI images.

All in all, our new MRI is a great addition to our community's health care services, said Durso. It will increase our efficiency and patient convenience, while at the same time producing higher quality images.

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 44 hospital campuses and nearly 8,300 licensed beds in 10 states. With 99-beds, Florida Hospital Flagler employs nearly 1,000 caregivers. Florida Hospital Flagler is comprised of the hospital's main campus; Town Center Surgery, a freestanding outpatient center; and the Parkway Medical Plaza which includes a walk-in clinic, laboratory, imaging and women's center and physician offices. For more information, call Call386-586-2000 or visit www.FloridaHospitalFlagler.com.

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