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My, oh, my, an MRI

My, oh, my, an MRI
My, oh, my, an MRI
Former Crawford County High School shotputter Lucas Stroud of Milltown lifts four-by-eight plywood sheets to be used in forming the concrete for a foundation outside the Doctors Office Building next to Harrison County Hospital in Corydon. James L. Shireman is putting up a building for a new MRI machine. Foreman Keith White and Jerry Hanger of Marengo are in the background. (Photo by Randy West)

Harrison County Hospital (HCH) is adding a modular unit to house a new $1.5 million MRI diagnostic scan and building.
Construction is underway on the modular, at the southeast end of the hospital (next to and formerly part of the Doctors Office Building parking lot). The entire system can be moved, should the hospital relocate.
HCH administrator Steve Taylor said as high-tech units such as an MRI fall in price, it will become more commonplace for small, rural hospitals to acquire one. The equipment costs about $1.2 million, and construction of the modular unit will run about $300,000, he said.
Four or five years ago, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) diagnostic equipment would have cost $4 million to $5 million, Taylor said.
The hospital now contracts for a portable unit to visit the Corydon hospital three days a week. When the service was first offered some years ago, the equipment was brought here just once a week, but the need has escalated.
Taylor said the MRI should be ready for patient use by early August. ‘If everything goes well, it will be operational then,’ he said.
The unit is not an open MRI but is designed with a flare at each end of the magnet which provides a more open, less claustrophobic feeling for the patient. It produces a much higher quality exam than the open units, said Clyde Melton, manager of diagnostic imaging at the hospital.
‘The Seimens MAGNETOM Symphony introduces a new generation of user and patient friendliness, ideal for advanced clinical use,’ Melton said.
‘With an ultra-short, high homogeneity, superconducting magnet, the MAGNETOM sets new standards in high-field image quality, advanced imaging capabilities, adaptability of siting, productivity, and overall comfort for the patient,’ Melton said.
The system can accommodate a person weighing up to 440 pounds, he said.