Just a bright spot in the news to help your Monday go smoothly...
The loud noises and discomfort that come with CT, MRI and PET scans can be off-putting to adults, so it’s no wonder that they’re troublesome for children.
“Imagine being a 6-year-old child about to be fed into the bore of a large, noisy machine and then being told not to move for 10 minutes, 30 minutes or longer,” writes Guy Boulton of the Journal Sentinel. “That's what computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography — commonly known as CT, MRI and PET scans — entail.”
In many cases, children need to be sedated in order to quell their fears and go through with these types of scans. As a result, hospitals are able to conduct fewer scans per day, spending more time on preparation than necessary. Now, the designers at GE Healthcare are stepping in to help.
In combination with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, designers have created what is known as the Adventure Series. Now when children are brought in for an MRI, they are offered a simulated “space voyage” instead. When loud noises are created, they are told their spaceship is about to go into hyper-drive.
"We used the children's imagination to our advantage," Kathleen Kapsin, radiology director of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, told the Journal Sentinel. "Instead going to the CT scanner, you are going to Pirate Island. And when you go in, we have a monkey on a swing, so they can play with the monkey."
And the simulations vary depending on the type of scan, its length, and the hospital. For example, a children’s hospital in San Francisco has a theme centered around cable cars. Kids are given goggles within the machine, which allow them to watch a DVD tied to the theme, transporting them to a whole new world.