This spring, Invision Sally Jobe will open a new imaging center in Lone Tree. Construction of a medical imaging center is a complex endeavor, particularly when it includes an MRI as this center will. Join us as we chronicle the unique construction of our new center.
MRI Room Floor Preparation
MRI scanners use magnets and radio waves to generate images of the body. The magnet is
very sensitive to any metal in its vicinity. Consequently, preparation of the MRI scanner
room entails creating a floor base for the scanner that is free from all metal. The only
way to ensure this is to dig out the existing floor (to a depth of two feet) and re-fill it
with “clean” dirt. The debris-free dirt is compressed and covered with concrete to provide
a level surface for the scanner.
We’ll continue to document to progress of our new site’s construction. Stay tuned to see holes become floors, scaffolding turn into walls, and a building transform into a full-service, state-of-the-art imaging center!
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Due to the strong magnetic field created by MRI scanners, they require protective shields to protect both the scanner and the surrounding area.
An RF (radio frequency) shield must be used around the MRI scanner to block out specific radio waves that may distort the images created by the MRI. The RF shielding must create a complete box around the scanner, including walls, the ceiling and floor. It can be made of almost any metal, but the most common types are copper, galvanized steel and aluminum.
Magnetic shielding must also surround the MRI scanner. This shield prevents the magnetic field created by the scanner from interfering with surrounding areas. It needs to be strategically placed to contain the magnetic field so that people (i.e. employees, patients, maintenance staff) cannot unknowingly pass through it.
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MRI Scanner Cooling System
The key to the efficiency and ability of any magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is the huge superconducting magnet within the MRI’s outer ring. To reach maximum performance, these magnets must be cooled down to -2 to -600 degrees Celcius. Liquid helium is commonly used as a refrigerant to accomplish this. In order to maintain the liquid helium cooling system, a water-cooled gradient compressor needs to be used. The chiller is installed and functional prior to the delivery of the magnet and installation.
The magnet for our new scanner will be installed on Saturday, March 30th. Installation requires a crane to lift the 9000 pound magnet and swing it into its spot through a hole in the exterior of the building. It’s definitely something you don’t get to see every day!
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Invision Sally Jobe’s 6th high speed MRI scanner arrived at our Lone Tree location on Saturday, March 30th to beautiful blue skies and 60 degree weather. There was a lane closure on Park Meadows Drive to accommodate the installation, causing a little inconvenience for Park Meadows shoppers. But at least there was something big going on!
The magnet arrived on a flatbed truck and a crane secured it’s place outside the building. A trial run was conducted first to ensure the process would go smoothly. The first phase of the installation involved lifting the crated 9000 pound magnet off the truck and placing it closer to the building. The crate and packaging were removed, then the second phase began. The magnet was lifted again and guided through an opening in the side of the building into the MRI scanner room. The opening only allowed six inches of space on either side of the magnet as it passed through. Not much room for error! Once inside, the crane rigging was removed and the magnet was rotated into place. The wall panel was then replaced, signaling the end of one of the largest construction phases for our new Lone Tree location, due to open in April.
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