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Tribe assists trauma center

A local Native American tribe has helped the Riverside County Regional Medical Center Foundation purchase a device that makes it easier to conduct MRI exams on young patients.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians donated $20,000 for the purchase of an MRI-compatible anesthesia machine, which doctors use to administer anesthesia to pediatric patients, according to a foundation statement.

Total cost of the device, which allows for safe sedation during MRI exams, is $160,000, according to the statement.

Doctors at the non-profit trauma center will now be able to get MRI images from pediatric patients onsite, rather than having to send them to other hospitals for tests.

MRI tests, which can require patients to lie motionless for hours inside a noisy, tunnel-like apparatus, are especially difficult to administer to young patients or people with disabilities.

“This equipment is vital to the medical center and especially to our pediatrics department,” said Jeri Vaughan, the foundation’s executive director, in a statement. “It makes life a little bit easier for our young patients and their families. That’s a real bonus.”

Unlike regular X-rays, which use radiation, magnetic resonance imaging uses powerful magnets to produce detailed images of almost any part of the body.

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