FOR THE first time in the country, the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has introduced a Kitten MRI for the children who are required to undergo MRI scan. The institute has also started another facility which will enable the children to watch a video cartoon during the examination.
The aim to introduce the Kitten MRI, which is to be formally inaugurated by Health Minister J P Nadda, is to lessen the children’s anxiety about the scan, according to doctors.
“It (MRI) is a terrifying experience not only for children, but for adults as well,” Dr Akshay Kumar, Department of Radio Diagnosis, PGI, told Chandigarh Newsline. “The Kitten MRI is a simulator and an artificial MRI which would familiarise the children with what they are going to face during the real scan. The child gets mentally prepared and becomes more cooperative in getting the scanning done.”
“This facility is not present anywhere else in the country,” said Dr N Khandelwal, head, Department of Radio Diagnosis and Imaging.
According to Dr Akshay, inside the Kitten MRI room, a child first interacts with the machine in a comfortable environment. “The children are informed about what different steps of the procedure are so that they can learn what to expect,” he said.
After the children get “mentally” ready for the MRI, the PGI provides another feature for them: a facility to watch a cartoon of their choice during the entire scan.
“There are different cartoon programmes and once a child reaches the centre, we ask them which cartoon they like the most. The entire scan process is about 40-minute-long, and to keep them busy, the children keep watching the audio video cartoons,” said Dr Akshay, adding that the facility was expected to bring down the need for sedation in children.
He said in the main MRI room, colourful lights had been installed to provide a child-friendly atmosphere.
As soon as the child reaches the new MRI centre, the child is first taken to dummy MRI room. The room has been designed with the images of the animals on the walls. Then the radiographer asks the child to choose out of the several artificial animals. “We then show a live demonstration to the children of that animal undergoing a scan,” said a PGI radiographer. “The artificial scan is shown on the LCD screen in front of the child to lessen his anxiety.”
“It (the facility) is helping a lot,” the radiographer said. “So far, we have conducted 25 MRIs of children and we are feeling a change. Now the children remain busy and they don’t realise that a medical examination is going on.”
According to a PGI official, the latest machine is 3.0 Tesla MRI machine (Philips Ingenia) and is equipped with the state-of-the-art hardware and software. “The facility is also expected to increase the research output from the radiology, cardiology, paediatrics, paediatric surgery and cardio-thoracic vascular surgery departments,” the official said.