New magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner arrives at the Atlantic Veterinary College
The Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) was a buzz of activity this morning as a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner was lifted by crane into the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
“With veterinary medicine constantly evolving, AVC must continually upgrade to keep pace with the changing needs and new technologies within the profession,” says Dr. John VanLeeuwen, interim dean, AVC. “The MRI scanner will allow for quick and efficient diagnosis of medical conditions for both small animal and large animal patients, and will enhance research, training, and learning opportunities for our veterinary students, faculty, and staff.”
The new MRI scanner, which is primarily donor-funded, is part of a multi-phased campaign that includes a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Centre and footprint expansion for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In addition to the MRI scanner, the Centre also includes a refurbished computed tomography (CT) scanner, a variety of ultrasound machines, and fluoroscopy and endoscopy equipment for minimally invasive surgeries.
“As the only veterinary institution offering a full complement of in-house advanced imaging modalities in Atlantic Canada, the Diagnostic Imaging Centre will be the gold standard in care for specialty services,” says Dr. Greg Keefe, interim president and vice-chancellor, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). “The MRI scanner is an exciting addition to the Atlantic Veterinary College and UPEI.”
Due to the cost and logistics associated with purchasing and delivering an MRI scanner, the transport, delivery, and installation required a highly choreographed team. The 4,200 kilogram MRI 1.5 Tesla scanner arrived by air at Chicago O’Hare International Airport from Germany at the end of January.
From there, it was sent to a cryogenic facility to be put on “Life Support” before transportation into Canada. It was then expertly transported by highly trained Siemens personnel to Prince Edward Island using specialized trailers.
Once it arrived at AVC, Siemens personnel used a coordinated rigging system to move the scanner into the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The system included a crane and other specialized supplies and lifting equipment. After assembly, installation, and priming to get the magnet up to field, the AVC anticipates it will welcome its first patients through the machine in April.
“We will conduct a series of trials after initial assembly, as well as training of faculty, clinicians, and staff,” explains Dr. VanLeeuwen. “But we look forward to this new addition, which will improve the quality of life of patients, enhance the client experience, and positively impact student learning.”
The Atlantic Veterinary College would like to thank and acknowledge the dedicated individuals who were involved with the project development of the MRI scanner. This team includes Greg Clayton, Carolyn Garro, Fred Horrelt, Melissa MacLaren, Marven MacLean, Nathan MacLeod, Alex MacNeill, Jackie MacPhail, and Drs. Patrick Burns, Yvonne Elce, Heather Gunn-McQuillan, Stephanie Hamilton.