Upgraded Equipment Will Provide Better Care for Children, Families

July 3, 2013

Children who need an MRI scan for treatment of everything from brain tumours to bone marrow disease will get better care with an improved machine funded by the province.

Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, July 3, the province will invest $1.1 million toward the cost of upgrading the IWK Health Centre’s existing magnetic resonance imaging scanner, commonly known as an MRI.

“I can only imagine how stressful it would be for a family dealing with a seriously ill child,” said Premier Dexter. “Once this upgrade is complete, it will be like having a whole new MRI scanner.

“Health-care teams at the IWK will be able to do more detailed scans faster, and serve more of their youngest and most vulnerable patients. These improvements will go a long way toward making an incredibly difficult time for families a little bit easier.”

Last September, four-year-old Cody Campbell was rushed to the IWK’s emergency room. An MRI image showed he had medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. After surgery and nine months of chemotherapy and radiation, Cody is now cancer-free.

“Cody wouldn’t even be with us today if it weren’t for an MRI,” said his mother, Holly Redden.

Cody will now have MRI scans every three months to confirm the cancer has not returned.

“Before this, I didn’t even know what MRI scanners did,” Ms. Redden said. “Now I know how important it is for every child to have access to an MRI if they need one.”

An MRI scanner is an essential tool used to produce images of young patients with cancer or brain injuries, as well as those with joint, bone or soft tissue problems. It is also used to produce images for women who are being treated by the IWK’s obstetrics, gynecology and breast health teams.

The scanner at the IWK is 11 years old and handles about 600 exams a month.

The total cost to upgrade the machine is just under $1.5 million.