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Burt-Watts Constructs LEED-Certified MRI Suite
Austin-based Burt-Watts Industries, Inc. will provide general contracting and construction management services for the expansion of a new $10.8 million dollar intra-operative MRI suite at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.
The IMRISneuro is a fully integrated operating room that includes a unique, movable MRI machine that allows surgeons to safely image patients in the operating room during brain surgery.
Dell Children’s Medical Center’s 6,000-sq-ft suite, scheduled to open this summer, is one of less than 20 medical facilities in the world to have the IMRISneuro. The suite, to be located 20 ft below ground-level, will have copper shielding. A room will be also specifically designed to house the IMRISneuro when not in use.
The new MRI suite is following LEED Platinum standards. Dell Children’s is the first hospital in the world to receive the designation.
Austin, Texas – (January 8, 2008) Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, a member of the Seton Family of Hospitals, has become the first hospital in the world to receive the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum designation, given by the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Even before the first plans were drawn up, we set our sights on creating a world-class children’s hospital, and becoming the first LEED Platinum hospital in the world was definitely part of that,” said Robert Bonar, president and CEO, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. “Our motivation to pursue LEED Platinum was not just environmental. Being a ‘green’ hospital has a profound, measureable effect on healing. What’s good for the environment and good for our Mueller neighbors is also good for our patients.”
Dell Children’s, which occupies nearly one-half million square feet on 32 acres that were once part of Austin’s old Mueller Airport, opened in June 2007. Its environmentally-sensitive design not only conserves water and electricity, but positively impacts the hospital’s clinical environment by improving air quality, making natural sunlight more readily available, and reducing a wide range of pollutants.
Inside the facility, sunlight reaches 80 percent of the available space. Outside, sustainable and indigenous building materials were used throughout the façade. A 4.3 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant produces 100 percent of the hospital’s electricity, heating and cooling.
Dell Children’s routinely plays host to visiting clinical, environmental and architectural experts from around the world, and features six interior healing gardens, each representing a distinct ecosystem within Dell Children’s 46-county service area.
In order to achieve LEED certification, buildings are rated in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Listed below are some of the accomplishments in each LEED category:read more
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The disease was Huntington’s Chorea, which is an inherited, degenerative disorder of the Central Nervous System, caused by a dominant gene. This means that everyone who inherits the gene from one of his/her parents WILL develop the disease, and the likelihood of doing so is therefore 50%.
Huntington’s Chorea is a particularly devastating disease because symptoms normally do not occur until after the age of 35, but can onset later (the earlier the onset, the more severe the disease tends to be). It is principally a movement disorder, with the first observable symptoms manifesting themselves as ‘clumsiness’, but as the disease progresses the movements become uncontrollable. These movements appear to be very bizarre and include odd bodily postures. Other symptoms are also apparent including forgetfulness and irritability or withdrawing (in the early stages) progressing to dementia with severe memory loss and lack of reasoning.
Patients suffering from Huntington’s Chorea show degenerative changes in the basal ganglia structures, which ultimately result in a severely shrunken brain and enlarged ventricles. The caudate and putamen brain structures are particularly affected as they shrink up to half their normal size.
The symptoms of the disease are caused by a significant reduction (volume and activity) of two principal neurotransmitters (naturally occurring chemicals in the brain) – namely Acetylcholine and GABA, in turn affecting the activity of the neurotransmitter Dopamine, which becomes hyperactive. Huntington’s Chorea is therefore the ‘flip side of the coin’ to another movement disorder – Parkinson’s Disease where there is dopamine under activity.
Huntington’s Chorea is principally characterized by hyperkinesias – abnormal, purposeless, involuntary motor movements that can occur spontaneously or only when the patient is trying to do something. These movements may be repetitive or non-repetitive.
Drug therapies can ease the symptoms of the disease (including the use of dopamine antagonists or neuroleptics) but there may be severe side effects with these drugs. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Huntington’s Chorea. However, new techniques involving neural grafting (implanting healthy fetal brain cells into the damaged areas) may offer hope for sufferers in the near future.