Westmead celebrates two new MRI machines

MRI supervisor Dr Megan Cromer with the new MRI machine.

Westmead Hospital is now home to two new state-of-the-art MRI machines, doubling the hospital’s scanning capacity and improving patient care.

The two 3T MRI machines were part of the hospital’s Capital Works program that replaces aged, major pieces of medical equipment.

The hospital now has three MRI machines, creating greater capacity for research while also decreasing waiting times for inpatients and outpatients requiring a scan.

The hospital conducts nearly 8000 outpatient scans annually, along with thousands of inpatient exams.

The Capital Works program also included a refurbishment of the MRI and radiology unit, including a new reporting room, along with fresh, modern wall colours and the installation of sky ceilings, giving patients a calming outlook during a scan.

Westmead Hospital general manager Andrew Newton said the renovation was designed to make MRI screening more pleasant for patients, while also extending research opportunities.

Westmead Hospital general manager Andrew Newton officially unveils the new MRI machines with MRI supervisor Dr Megan Cromer.

“We know that getting an MRI can often be scary, especially if you’re having the scan for the first time,” he said.

“These new machines are state-of-the art – they come with headphones so patients can listen to music during the test, while also enjoying the new sky ceilings, which allow them to look at scenes of forests or the ocean while they’re having the scan.

“The MRI space doesn’t look like an examination room – it’s got a nice ambience now, making it a much more pleasurable experience for our patients.

The installation of the new machines was quite an effort, requiring each machine to be craned into the building due to their size and weight.

WSLHD Health Facility planner Marleen Moraza said a team of builders had spent months planning for the installation before craning in the machines on a weekend to minimise disruption.

“Our team came in at 5am and spent hours craning the huge machines into the hospital; these machines weigh up to 10 tonnes each so they’re incredibly heavy to move,” she said.

“The whole operation went really smoothly and we’re thrilled to have these two new, high-tech machines on offer at the hospital.”

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