MRI made easy for children with help from movie monitor - Tucson News Now

MRI made easy for children with help from movie monitor

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Despicable Me 2 plays on a monitor outside the MRI room during a young patient's scan. (Source: University of Arizona Medical Center) Despicable Me 2 plays on a monitor outside the MRI room during a young patient's scan. (Source: University of Arizona Medical Center)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The magic of cinema is now being used to ease anxiety for young patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging scans at the University of Arizona Medical Center-Diamond Children's.

A television monitor in the hospital's MRI room allows children to watch their favorite films during a scan.

This wasn't possible before and getting children to lay still for a scan often meant using sedation.

The magnetic interference from the machine would ruin electronic devices in the same room, so they are prohibited during a scan. But a clever system has been devised to get around this.

Video is reflected from a monitor outside the MRI room onto a mirror positioned in the machine.

Pediatric Radiology Medical Director Dr. Dorothy Gilbertson-Dahdal says the entertainment helps children stay still during the scan.

"They're very expensive but allow patients to watch the movie with headphones to listen to while they're getting their MRI," Gilbertson-Dahdal said. "For children, that's wonderful. If you've ever noticed how kids watch TV, they kind of zone out."

The hospital used donated money to purchase two of the machines, costing $40,000 dollars in total. They have been used to help children as young as 3-years-old.

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