A new aluminium wheel chair in use at Hutt Hospital is making it easier for all patients to have an MRI scan.
The wheelchair is ‘MRI safe’ because it’s made mostly of aluminium and has no magnetic parts. Standard wheelchairs are made of metal and can’t be used because they become flying missiles due to the strong magnetic field of the MRI scanner.
Previously patients, who couldn’t walk into the scanning room, were transferred onto a MRI safe trolley. This was time-consuming and cumbersome for patients said Karen Coleman, Radiology Manager.
“The great thing about this new chair is it speeds up the transfer of patients and has been a major help to the team who overwhelmingly told me it would be improve the service we provide to patients – it affords dignity for the patients and is a huge time saver,” she said.
Thanks to fundraising by the Heretaunga Rotary Club, enough money was raised to get this new MRI wheelchair. The MRI wheelchair was officially presented to Dale Oliff, Acting CEO, and members of the MRI team at Hutt Valley DHB this week by the Rotary Club.
There have been incidents around the world of ‘non-MRI safe’ equipment getting into an MRI scanning rooms. These incidents have caused serious injury as material has flown around and attached to the magnet.
“We acknowledge the generosity of the Heretaunga Rotary Club for their support with the fundraising and gifting us this essential piece of equipment which will help both our patients and staff while in radiology,” said Dale Oliff.
The wheel chair has been in constant use in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) room since arriving in November and was officially presented to the Acting Chief Executive this week.
Anyone interested in helping with donations, sponsorship or gifting HVDB can find out more on the Hutt Hospital Foundation Trust website.
Photo caption: L-R, Dr Jaco van der Walt, Karen Coleman, Malcolm Smith (Heretaunga Rotary), Geordie Anderson, Dale Oliff and testing out the chair, Ian Opray (Heretaunga Rotary).