Having an MRI ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) scan can be a very stressful experience especially for children and some adults. Both our MRI scanners are ageing and are scheduled for replacement early next year ( Jan 2018 onwards ) and this gives us an opportunity to look at the MRI scan room environment and think about improvements we may be able to make, especially for children and adults who find MRI scans difficult. We work very closely with the RUH Play Specialists in preparing children for MRI scans and would love to be able to provide a more child friendly environment in one of our MRI scan rooms. One piece of equipment that we feel would help us do this is installing a video system so that children (& adults) can watch their favourite DVD whilst having an MRI scan. We feel that having a system such as this in the MRI scan room will reduce the number of children needing a general anaesthetic to enable them to have a scan, and also help generally for children and adults find the whole MRI experience more enjoyable.
This system needs to be highly specialised as it has to work in a strong magnetic field and also not interfere with the electric signals being produced by the scanner so has to be provided by a specialist firm, Wardray Premise. They mount a large video screen on the rear wall behind the scanner and then patients watch their DVD through a mirror mounted above them or by wearing special glasses. Many of the major specialist Children’s Hospitals in the UK such as Great Ormond Street, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital and many others have this system installed and find that patients love being able to watch a DVD whilst having a scan and it has really improved their ability to help children and adults cope with having a scan.
Unfortunately these systems are costly and although the RUH is funding the replacement MRI scanner, Time is Precious are going to fund the Video System. The system costs in the region of £21,000.