BOSTON (WHDH) - The first FDA-approved, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit-dedicated MRI system in the United States was installed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Friday.

The system, which was hoisted via crane through a roof hatch into the hospital’s NICU, will provide high-quality scans and safe imaging of newborns within the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine.

“The installation of the state-of-the-art, neonatal MRI system will greatly enhance the research capabilities of BWH and elevate and expand neurocritical care for our littlest patients,” said Terrie Inder, chair of the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine. “Locating this technology within the NICU will reduce time and patient risk associated with transporting newborns to a traditional MRI and allow MRI access from the first hours of life through the challenging, sometimes life-threatening, time within the NICU.”

The MRI will inform the care team and family members whether brain injury has occurred and will help guide them in which treatments may assist in preventing disability.

“This new MRI system, designed with a single use – scanning of the newborn – will enhance the care we provide for our NICU patients and provide an empowering technology that will complement existing MRI scanners and improve efficiency by offering imaging to our tiniest patients within the controlled confines of the NICU,” said Srinivasan Mukundan, Jr., PhD, MD, medical director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging at BWH.

The neonatal MRI system is quieter than traditional whole-body scanners and uses lower power consumption, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Doctors will minimize the baby’s movements by placing them in a temperature-controlled, self-contained incubator bed to get accurate scans.

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