This is no less true in Scotland, where a significant proportion of the population is too large to fit comfortably in a traditional MRI scanner.
Parliament’s obesity statistics show that 65% of the Scottish population over the age 16 is overweight. Of those, 27% are considered obese, and most could not fit comfortably in a traditional MRI scanner – which typically only has a 60cm wide tube.
The closest open MRI scanner for Scottish patients is in Newcastle, at our clinic in Jesmond. Our clinic accepts referrals for private and NHS patients from across the region, including Scotland.
The North East’s only open-sided MRI scanner is designed to be suitable for people who cannot use a normal MRI scanner. This includes those who are claustrophobic or overweight.
Overweight people are in fact more likely to get an injury that could require an MRI.
A study in the Journal of Health Promotion found that overweight people were 15% more likely to suffer an injury, with obese people being 48% more likely than those of normal weight. Typical injuries suffered by overweight persons include sprains, strains, joint dislocations, as well as fractures of the legs, ankles and feet.
We can ensure that larger-sized patients get the care they need. Our open scanner doesn’t involve trying to fit into a tube whatsoever; instead, it has no sides, allowing anyone to fit underneath the scanning mechanism. The machine is over twice the average width at 132 cm wide.
Our clinic has seen increased number of referrals due to obesity, resulting in an increased demand for an Open MRI scan. We currently still have the time capacity to accept patients from Scotland, but with predictions that 50% of the UK population will be obese by the year 2050, it’s important that an effort is made to reduce obesity rates across the nation.
Scotland’s obesity rates have increased 3% within the last decade. Recent efforts to curb the growing rates of child obesity in Scotland has included calls to ban junk food adverts from television before 9 pm and research on implementing a sugar tax to decrease sales of sweets.
A nation-wide effort is required to address this issue, especially by healthcare services that currently cannot serve a large proportion of the population.