More than 2,500 patients in the region are currently awaiting elective MRI scans
St. Mary’s is the only regional heart care center in the province that does not have an MRI machine. It is also the only hospital in the Waterloo area that does not have one.
These valuable diagnostic machines provide quick diagnosis for a range of problems from cancer to Alzheimer’s as well as results for heart patients.
Thanks to some funding from the province, Kitchener Hospital is able to offset operating costs for a new MRI, but more money is needed to purchase the machine, and Susan Dusik, president and CEO of the Hospital Foundation, says Such a community is desperately needed.
“We are the only heart center in the province of Ontario that does not have an MRI. It is important that St. Mary gets it, but it is also important that the region as a whole has increased access to MRI because we are serving so little right now. Huh. “
“Our patients are taken when they are incredibly fragile because heart patients who need an MRI are very sick, they are very fragile and have to be transferred to Grand River or Cambridge Memorial.”
CMH has MRI machine since 2012.
St. Mary’s partnered with Grand River Hospital on April 4 to help raise funds for the area and reduce the cost of two MRI machines.
“MRI uses powerful magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses and this combined with sophisticated computer imagery provides these vivid images. This makes things easier to see. It is non-invasive and uses no radiation. is.”
St. Mary’s is looking for its first MRI machine by next February as Grand River looks for its second, refurbished MRI machine by August.
“What we have to do now as a community is to raise money for the equipment, the actual magnets as they are called and in the case of St. Mary we have to raise money for the renovation, so we have to renovate some space inside hospital,” Dusik said.
Together, the two hospitals are seeking $10 million from the community.
The new MRI machines will help patients in the field avoid longer wait times for elective MRIs.
According to a press release from the hospital’s foundation, $7.6 million will be directed for St. Mary’s first MRI and $2.4 million for Grand River’s second MRI machine.
Dusik said that so far, the foundation has raised $4 million towards its $10 million goal, thanks to a few notable donors.
A portion of the money going toward St. Mary’s MRI machine will offset the cost of hospital renovations to accommodate the larger piece of equipment, the cost of the magnet, and everything needed to get it up and running.
Dusick said at Grand River that they would be doing what’s called a de-streaming process with existing MRIs.
This 20-year-old machine will be made anew by taking it down from the magnet.
All images created by the new MRI machines are developed immediately because it is all digital. Patients do not have to wait for the result.
“From the point of view of the heart we know that it is the only tool of choice to look at certain types of damage to heart tissue and to diagnose coronary artery disease. So, this is very, very important. The fact is that the heart center’s It’s not too shocking as we have it.”
Dusick said waiting for a diagnosis is often stressful for patients and their families.
“It’s like Domino’s. You can’t transport some patients because they’re too unstable, so we have to use what we have in St. Mary’s, our CT scanner. That means these patients are other patients.” are taking CT spots from those who are awaiting CT,” Dr. Derek Karanwal, joint chief and medical director of medical imaging for both St. Mary’s General and Grand River Hospitals, said in a press release.
“Having an on-site MRI in St. Mary’s and an additional MRI machine in the Grand River will allow more equitable access for inpatients and outpatients at both hospitals. It will also reduce the strain on existing diagnostic modalities across the region ”
Currently, Grand River diagnoses about 17,000 patients annually with an MRI machine.
Grand River also reports a waiting list of six to eight months for elective outpatient examinations.
More than 2,500 patients in the region are currently waiting for an elective MRI scan and they can often wait an average of 82 days, more than three times the provincial target time.
The latest MRI machine at Grand River Hospital, funded by Canada’s Equitable Life in 2021, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There is often no backup or replacement when that equipment is under repair, which means patients are waiting even longer.
The community can go online at the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation website to make a donation.