In pediatric health care, most children going in for extensive imaging procedures must be sedated—an experience that can make the situation even more difficult for both children and parents. Instead of relying on anesthesia to calm young patients, some providers are focusing on using the imaging suites themselves to put children at ease. Comfort, fun, and welcome distractions come in many forms, as these three examples demonstrate.

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“Scan-Castle” at Yale New Haven Hospital

What’s more relaxing than a trip to the beach? YNHH’s new children’s MRI suite is seaside-themed, featuring murals on the walls and floor. A giant sandcastle houses the MRI scanner, a high-tech model that allows clear imaging despite some wiggles from the patient. A noise filter reduces the volume by up to 70 percent, and the MRI opening is larger than in most machines, making children’s comfort the top priority. Young patients can even watch a movie on Cinemavision goggles, and receive a beach ball or beach-themed toy when their scan is complete.

“Yellow Submarine” at Children’s National

At Children’s National outpatient facility in Rockville, Md, procedure rooms are designed and decorated using GE’s Adventure Series for imaging suites. One imaging suite is decorated with an underwater theme, where children take a ride on a Yellow Submarine. Others include a safari adventure and a boat ride. The pediatric staff play along with a complete story to match the suite, explaining that the patient must lie very still as part of the exciting underwater / jungle / river adventure. The imaging units at Children’s National are also able to work very quickly, producing quality images without making children lie still for too long.

“Pirate Ship” at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital

To turn the fear of a scan into an adventure, New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has transformed their children’s scanner into a pirate ship. The scanning room is an island surrounded by animals dressed as pirates, and children walk a plank to settle onto the boat-shaped table. Radiologists cry “weigh anchor” before beginning the procedure, and patients lie very still to avoid being detected by enemy ships. Also available from GE’s Adventure Series, this anxiety-reducing option is beloved by both children and teens at the facility.

Keeping MRIs Friendly

How do you make your MRI experience calming or engaging for children? KMG would love to hear about it. If you are considering adding a pediatric MRI suite, KMG can help you make the best choice for your situation. Contact David Sweitzer today; we’d love to start a conversation.


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Kimberly Jacobs

Our Chief Executive Officer is Kimberly Jacobs. She has been with KMG since 2005, and has held various positions throughout the company during her ten years, including CFO and most recently, COO. She has experience with both hospital and imaging center operations. Previously, Kimberly held the position of Practice Manager for a Maternal Fetal Medicine and Fetal Treatment Center operated by Akron Children’s Hospital, an award winning independent hospital in Ohio.

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