It’s Official: New MRI suite is open

The first patients won’t get to use it for another three weeks, but the Dartmouth General Hospital’s first MRI machine was officially unveiled Monday.

Sharon Hartling, the diagnostic imaging manager at the Dartmouth General said the plan was to operate the machine up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Expecting to scan 400 patients a month, 5,000 patients a year, and that’s a conservative estimate,” said Hartling.

“Those numbers are based on our current MRI scanners in the central zone, and this new scanner will be faster, so we’re hoping to exceed those targets.”

Premier Tim Houston used oversized scissors to cut a blue ribbon stretched across the imaging equipment, whose 12,000-kilogram magnet was delivered just before Christmas and lowered from the roof into a specially reinforced and isolated section of the hospital.

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