Dinosaur Sized MRI to Be Removed from Health Center

By: Boone County Health Center

Boone County Health Center’s (BCHC’s) old Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit is not as old as a dinosaur, but at 45 tons it certainly weighs as much as one.

BCHC has begun the process of disassembling the old unit to make way for a new MRI unit that will more than double the clarity and quality of MRI images. The switch will take about 3 months to complete. During the transition, a mobile MRI unit parked along the south side of BCHC will serve patients.

“This is a major project, but we have been planning for months and are hopeful things will go smoothly,” said Maintenance Supervisor Geoff McGill. “The larger parts of the unit are set to be removed starting this Friday. Our goal is to use the weekend to get as much done as we can, so we cause the least possible inconvenience to our patients.”

Friday, January 11th through Tuesday, January 15th patients will be asked not to park in the eight spaces closest to the hospital right along the east side of the building to clear a path for the rigging company which will remove the old MRI unit. The no-parking area will be marked off, but the east parking lot will still be okay to use.

Patients may also notice plywood on the floors in hospital hallways from the front entrance to the old MRI unit. This is to protect the floors because the unit is so heavy. For the most part, the giant machine can be taken apart and removed in large pieces, but to get the huge MRI magnet out, some walls will need to come down at BCHC as well.

The new MRI unit is called an Oval Echelon by Hitachi and is much smaller than the old unit. BCHC is the only hospital in the state to have an MRI unit of this kind. The special oval opening offers patients more room for added comfort and less anxiety during scans.