“The Amazing MRI”
Gregory V. Boulware
The aging human has emerged as one of the biggest and dominating challenges to the healthcare profession of many major nations. The need for improved and enhanced medical services and support is phenomenal as we become a burden to nursing homes, senior services centers, hospital staff, and medical transportation. The Social Security Administration has its points of frustration as well. They really didn’t think we’d live that long, or did they?
The drug manufacturers are making a killing too… The drugs needed to keep people, maybe like you and me, has been produced in mass quantities for a long, long time. I can’t help but wonder if they already knew that we’d need medical support to sustain us after age thirty? They had a plan in the movie ‘Logan’s Run’ didn’t they? After thirty, your age clock started dropping a dime on you, you knew it was time to kiss your behind goodbye. If you didn’t, they made arrangements for you to do so – with a lie of course. But we’re dealing with some truth here. X-rays were the law of the land back in the day. But I’m here to tell ya…if you’ve had an injury that hurts like hell, pain that can’t be explained or shown on an x-ray – you need to get an MRI! Yes, that’s right the Magnetic Resonance Imager! It sees some pretty amazing and incredible things. It goes were no man has gone before.
In my very first article/weblog report, “IT and BI”, I mentioned the steps beginning technology students should take in order to ascend to the highest level of career achievements in the world of computers.
Recently, I visited with my general practitioner (the Doctor). The needed updating and renewal of my prescription was at hand. While we chatted during my examination I asked the Doctor a few questions concerning my past prognosis (history). She didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about. I said, “Doc you’ve been treating me for more than eight years and treated for a major illness.” “What do you think or how do you feel about the way the treatment has turned out? The look of someone who was in the twilight zone came upon her face, the look of someone who has traded places with my doctor. I described to her the diagnosis and prognosis of the total experience up to now. Her demeanor made an abrupt change to OK, now I remember mode.
The doctor then started to explain the how and why of their patient records keeping system. The patient records were kept on an outdated wall roll out filing system in the administration portion of this very large and prominent city hospital clinic. I asked, “Doc, why is it that you don’t have my records at hand for review as opposed to making a whole new file on me?” She then explained if a patient has not come into the office for more than two years, the hard copy files go to a central repository for storage. And soon after the records arrive to the repository, before long, they are destroyed. I then asked the doctor what would happen if a medical professional needed to access a patient’s medical history to assist in the diagnosis and comparison of a new illness. The only answer that she could give me was “the hospital could not afford to store old patient files.” I asked, isn’t that a dangerous practice? She replied, yes.
Albeit, my doctor agreed with the need for an Electronic Medical Records keeping system for all hospitals, especially one as large as this…
I was appalled at the lack of technology that major hospitals and medical facilities in many cities and counties do not incorporate within their day-to-day responsibilities. Not to mention my anger of the danger factor in not having access to patient records, regardless of how long it’s been between doctor visits. An EMR System will aid in the saving of life, the treatment and prevention of illnesses throughout this planet, its’ people, animals, and life forms.
Our country, as well as the rest of the world, is in need of the EMR System. The system needs operators for ETL and other operational functions. This system will be implemented whether hospital administrators like it or not…whether they can afford it or not. And the people to maintain and operate the functions of said system is inevitable.
Einstein Medical Hospital in Philadelphia and its Suburbs is one such hospital. They are equipped with the technology and technological services and abilities that allow a patient to access his/her medical records ONLINE! Oh yes, the patient receives a copy, for their personal use, of his/her medical evaluation-report(s) that includes the x-ray report and the MRI report with its findings. Not to mention the needed access of affiliating medical professionals and specialists that may not be attached to one particular hospital system and cannot access the needed medical data – could mean life or death for the attended patient. Time is always of the essence… Would you want to horse around with waiting for files to be delivered to the examining doctor? I didn’t think you did.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.
For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. In some cases, contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly.
Why It Is Done
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is done for many reasons. It is used to find problems such as tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel diseases, or infection. MRI also may be done to provide more information about a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or CT scan. Contrast material may be used during MRI to show abnormal tissue more clearly. An MRI scan can be done for the:
• Head. MRI can look at the brain for tumors, an aneurysm, bleeding in the brain, nerve injury, and other problems, such as damage caused by a stroke. MRI can also find problems of the eyes and optic nerves, and the ears and auditory nerves.
• Chest. MRI of the chest can look at the heart, the valves, and coronary blood vessels. It can show if the heart or lungs are damaged. MRI of the chest may also be used to look for breast or lung cancer.
• Blood vessels. Using MRI to look at blood vessels and the flow of blood through them is called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). It can find problems of the arteries and veins, such as an aneurysm, a blocked blood vessel, or the torn lining of a blood vessel (dissection). Sometimes contrast material issued to see the blood vessels more clearly.
• Abdomen and pelvis. MRI can find problems in the organs and structures in the belly, such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder. It is used to find tumors, bleeding, infection, and blockage. In women, it can look at the uterus and ovaries. In men, it looks at the prostate.
• Bones and joints. MRI can check for problems of the bones and joints, such as arthritis, problems with the temporomandibular joint, bone marrow problems, bone tumors, cartilage problems, torn ligaments or tendons, or infection. MRI may also be used to tell if a bone is broken when X-ray results are not clear. MRI is done more commonly than other tests to check for some bone and joint problems.
• Spine. MRI can check the discs and nerves of the spine for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc bulges, and spinal tumors.
How To Prepare Before your MRI test, tell your doctor and the MRI technologist if you:
• Are allergic to any medicines. The contrast material used for MRI does not contain iodine. If you know that you are allergic to the contrast material used for the MRI, tell your doctor before having another test. Are or might be pregnant.
Have any metal implanted in your body. This helps your doctor know if the test is safe for you. Tell your doctor if you have:
Heart and blood vessel devices such as a coronary artery stent, a pacemaker, an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator), or a metal heart valve.
Metal pins, clips, or metal parts in your body, including artificial limbs and dental work or braces. Any other implanted medical device, such as a medicine infusion pump or a cochlear implant.
Cosmetic metal implants, such as in your ears, or tattooed eyeliner.
Had recent surgery on a blood vessel. In some cases, you may not be able to have the MRI test.
Have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place. An IUD may prevent you from having the MRI test done.
Become very nervous in confined spaces. You need to lie very still inside the MRI magnet, so you may need medicine to help you relax. Or you may be able to have the test done with open MRI equipment. It is not as confining as standard MRI machines.
Have any other health conditions, such as kidney problems or sickle cell anemia that may prevent you from having an MRI using contrast material.
Wear any medicine patches. The MRI may cause a burn at the patch site.
You may need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the test, if you are given a medicine (sedative) to help you relax.
For an MRI of the abdomen or pelvis, you may be asked to not eat or drink for several hours before the test.
Medical Centers throughout the U.S. have begun to utilize, support, and promote “EMR” software and hardware technology. A few years ago, one such medical center began an initiative to promote 25-minute emergency department services.
It’s all good… If you have a serious enough injury, the medical professionals at Einstein and The Moss Rehab Center(s) will make sure that you get the help you need, quick, fast, and proficiently.
Til Next Time…
“The EMR And You”
A Concurrence – “The EMR and You Too”
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Genetic material DNA RNA Gene; a rod-shaped structure, usually found in pairs in a cell nucleus, that carries the genes that determine sex and the characteristics an organism inherits from its parents. A human body cell usually contains 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs. Rod-shaped structure carrying genes.