Ipswich: Pacemaker patient becomes first in region to have MRI scan - at Ipswich Hospital

ipswich: A patient who has a pacemaker fitted has become one of the first people in the region to have an MRI scan – at Ipswich Hospital.

Prior to a new generation of pacemakers – designed with a special MRI-compatible function – patients with older devices, which are used to help regulate the beat of a person’s heart, were unable to have the scans.

But at Ipswich Hospital, one of the first patients with a MRI-compatible pacemaker has successfully had a scan, paving the way for a better service for thousands of patients in the future.

Belinda Ling, superintendent in the hospital’s MRI department said she believes Ipswich Hospital are among the first in East Anglia to carry out the new procedure.

She said the department were contacted by Mark Bowditch, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to try to arrange a scan for his patient, Bert Hatcher, who had an ankle injury.


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When Mr Hatcher had his pacemaker fitted he was given the option to purchase an MRI-compatible model. Being an avid runner, he took surgeons up on their offer.

Mrs Ling added: “The pacemaker has to be switched into the right mode to allow for the scan. The cardiology team at the hospital were really helpful in supporting us with that.

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“Thanks to everyone helping, Mr Hatcher had his scan and I am very pleased to say he suffered no ill effects whatsoever.

“We have been in contact with Papworth and the Norfolk and Norwich hospitals and we believe we are one of the first hospitals to carry out the procedure.

“We are so pleased, firstly for Mr Hatcher but also for all those patients with pacemakers who we will be able to offer this service to in the future. It is great for patients and for the hospital.”

Mr Hatcher, of Rushmere Road, said: “Mark Bowditch was excellent, without his insistence I would not have been able to have the scan.

“I want to thank all the staff at the hospital who made it possible. The hospital gets a lot of criticism, it is nice to be complimentary.”

n Tell us your health stories. Write to health reporter Lizzie Parry at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk

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