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Israeli Hospital Employs World's First MRI Designed for Infants

Infant MRI (Photo: Shaare Zedek)

The Fellowship-supported Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem delivers more babies - 22,000 - than any other hospital in the world. And now, The Jerusalem Post's Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reports that Shaare Zedek is the first hospital in the world with a particular piece of equipment to care for these precious babies - an MRI machine designed for infants:

The world’s first magnetic resonance instrument (MRI) built specially for examining premature and older infants has been installed and tested on six patients at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The babies sleep comfortably while held in a soft brace during the scan and do not need to be anesthetized.

The device, called the Embrace system and recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, was recently installed in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. The Embrace device makes it possible to perform high-quality MRI tests without endangering the babies. This improves the service that babies and their families will receive – accurate information about brain structure, identification of infants at risk and early treatment of these infants...

The MRI is adapted to the physical size of premature infants and babies. It was specifically installed in the neonatal department so the tiny patients do not have to be moved from the unit to the hospital’s regular MRI institute, and the temperature can be kept warm as needed by the delicate infants.

The medical staff remain close to the premature baby during the examination itself, unlike a conventional MRI device, in which the technicians have to sit in a separate room. The reason, according to Dr. Alona Bin-Nun, a senior neonatologist at the Jerusalem hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit who heads the project, is that the magnetic field created by the new technology is from iron and confined to the device itself; in conventional MRIs, it is from a much-stronger electric current, so the room has to be kept cold...

Tags: Israeli Innovation

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