State of the art MRI to make real difference to IWK patient and families

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A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is now operational at IWK Health. The new MRI scanner and associated renovations were a result of a $6.9 million investment made by the provincial government in November 2018.

The MRI scanner is a diagnostic imaging tool that provides non-invasive, detailed images of internal organs and structures.  Patients lie within a large tube while a strong magnetic field is created around them. The magnetic field and related pulses of radio waves produce signals that are converted into images by computer.

“This new MRI suite will allow us to provide imaging that is a critical component of diagnosis and care planning for women, children and youth in the Maritimes, helping clinicians deliver the highest quality of care,” says Dr. Krista Jangaard, President and CEO, IWK Health. “We thank the government of Nova Scotia for making this possible.”

As the only MRI Imaging for pediatric patients requiring general anesthesia in the three Maritime Provinces, the IWK MRI system is essential. In addition to the pediatric patients, numerous Breast Health, Orthopedic, Oncology, Neurology and fetal care assessments are completed. The equipment is typically used for over 5500 exam scans per year.

“Children, youth and families from Nova Scotia receive excellent care at the IWK,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “The new MRI is an essential piece of equipment for women, children and youth in our region, and will help ensure they continue to get the best possible care.”

The new MRI suite will also include a dedicated area for Anesthesia that will improve the patient experience for many of the pediatric patients.  The suite’s layout is also anticipated to improve operation efficiency of patient flow and reduce wait times.

The new MRI Suite was designed in consultation with the Family Leadership Council and a Space Runway theme and associated colour scheme was selected for the unit. The suite will be welcoming to both pediatric and adult patients while ensuring their safety and privacy during their examination.

The installation of the new equipment, including a 10,000 lb magnet, was completed over the summer of 2020.