Jump to content

oldschooler

Medical Marvels: Bengals Are Lone NFL Team With An MRI At Their Stadium

Recommended Posts

Jeff Fedotin Contributor 
SportsMoney
I cover the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL and sports business.
Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals, MRI

The Bengals have an MRI facility in the lower level of Paul Brown Stadium.

JEFF FEDOTIN

The Cincinnati Bengals possess something no other NFL team does. It is the only franchise with an MRI facility at its own stadium.

“It’s awesome,” Bengals guard Christian Westerman said. “It’s so convenient.”

With this MRI technology in place at Paul Brown Stadium, an injured Bengals — or visiting — player can quickly receive confirmation of an injury or a determination on whether they can re-enter a game.

“Somebody walks off the field, and they are in the MRI scanner in as little as five minutes,” said Dr. Stephen Pomeranz, the CEO/founder of ProScan Imaging, which runs the facility at the stadium. “You’re talking: saving between as little as six, but usually on the average, 12 to 24 hours of diagnostic time.”

 

Typically, injured athletes have to wait until the next day for an MRI. That was the case when Kevin Durant tore his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals last month.

When quarterback Carson Palmer infamously tore his ACL against the Pittsburgh Stealers in 2006, Pomeranz, a radiologist who can read the images remotely, was watching the playoff game from his home when he was called to the stadium. By the time he arrived 30 minutes later, the scan was almost finished.

“He was still on the table,” Pomeranz said. “It was very tense.”

The Bengals needed to know whether their Pro Bowl quarterback could come back into the game, and the scan confirmed their worst fears: Palmer had torn his ACL, MCL and damaged cartilage in his left knee.

Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals, MRI

The Bengals are the only NFL team with this medical technology at their home stadium.

JEFF FEDOTIN

Pomeranz, who has been affiliated with the Brown family since 1985 and runs the 30 ProScan centers nationwide, reached out to the Bengals initially, and Cris Collinsworth, who helps run the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund to combat breast cancer, served as a conduit as a well.

After a nine-month process, the Bengals became the first professional team to have an MRI in their stadium. And because that MRI is a magnet that could move when fans roar or jostle, it floats atop inflatable air bags.

“It’s a technical achievement,” Pomeranz said. “(It) is novel, valuable, pragmatic.”

Pomeranz and Collinsworth met in person with the Houston Texans and spoke to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about their teams having one in the stadium, but those talks never came to fruition. Teams have X-ray machines at their stadium, and Pomeranz said a couple have MRIs at their training facility.

But why doesn’t every NFL stadium have an MRI? 

There are a few main obstacles involving the engineering, the space and the cost.

Just to place the MRI into Paul Brown Stadium, which opened in 2000, was a feat of innovation. To get it into the riverfront stadium, they had to move the machine, which weighs more than 100,000 pounds, on wheels via a railroad track. 

“There were a lot of challenges to get in there,” Pomeranz said.

Space is at premium in stadiums, which are often cramped with other amenities that often cater to fans. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, MRIs are extremely expensive. Including service, finance payments and personnel, it costs about $750,000 per year.

The fact that the Bengals, a team that last won a playoff game in 1991, has one of the NFL’s smallest scouting staffs and is not known for lavishly spending on free agents, welcomed this cutting edge technology may surprise some.

Pomeranz, though, said owner Mike Brown and his family are misrepresented.

“It’s a family-owned business,” Pomeranz said. “We’re in a small-market community. They’re very thoughtful people, and this is one demonstration.” 

ProScan, Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals, MRI

ProScan's MRI at Paul Brown Stadium is available to both Bengals players and the public.

JEFF FEDOTIN

ProScan’s in-stadium MRI is open to the public Monday-Saturday but closed to the public on gamedays, and some slots during training camp are held exclusively for the Bengals.

“They are our No. 1 priority at that location,” said Jaclyn Klare Schmerge, ProScan’s senior director of imaging operations and sales.

For local patients who are not Bengals players, it can make an otherwise stressful medical appointment more enjoyable because they get to visit an NFL stadium.

For others, it’s a necessity.

Because the stadium’s open MRI is designed for someone who is the size of an NFL player, it can accommodate larger patients. (Most MRIs have weight limits of about 350 pounds.)

“It’s bigger, badder and heavier,” Pomeranz said, “a very unique piece of equipment.” 

 

 

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffedotin/2019/07/08/medical-marvels-bengals-are-lone-nfl-team-with-an-mri-at-their-stadium/#45e2352e5b2d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Le Tigre said:

Another media sacred cow label goes down!  

It’s a model 1344 MRI machine.  The Patriots have a 1346. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SF2 said:

It’s a model 1344 MRI machine.  The Patriots have a 1346. 

 

I see what you’re trying to do there, but your attempt fails when the article specifically states that no other NFL team has one.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Cricket said:

 

I see what you’re trying to do there, but your attempt fails when the article specifically states that no other NFL team has one.

 

 

How about:

 

"I can't wait for us to use it on the next rising star that Shitsburgh decides to Code Red!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, T-Dub said:

 

How about:

 

"I can't wait for us to use it on the next rising star that Shitsburgh decides to Code Red!"

 

Yep, that would do it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cricket said:

 

I see what you’re trying to do there, but your attempt fails when the article specifically states that no other NFL team has one.

 

Almost every team has one, just not at the stadium.  It helps that PBS is downtown and easy to get to so it can be used all the time.   Kind of surprised some of these newer places like Lucas Oil in Indy don't have them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Le Tigre said:

Inside the stadium, lower level.

 

 

That one is only a practice field for the visiting team on alternating Sundays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Go-Bengals.com on Facebook

Go-Bengals.com on Twitter

×