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Reducing Kids’ MRI Anxiety, Brick by Brick

For children undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination for the first time, it can be a daunting, anxiety producing experience. They are asked to stay still for up to 45 minutes in a noisy confining machine. The stress can be so strong that sedation is needed to help children cope, but that can expose them to risks associated with anesthesia.

LEGO-IMAGE-1Dr.  Benjamin H. Taragin, director of pediatric radiology, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, associate professor of clinical radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a board member of the Society for Pediatric Radiology found a possible way to help relieve that stress and improve patient safety. The inspiration for this came to him while playing with his son, Yoni.

He writes: “As we were working with the LEGO® pieces, I came across a curved semicircular piece and realized that it reminded me of the bore opening of an MRI. With that thought in my head, my son and I began to build our initial LEGO MRI model.

After building it, I realized that this might actually be useful for our Phoebe H. Stein Child Life program to use when prepping patients for MRI. While many simulators exist on the market, some large and some small, none are built with the basic blocks of childhood. Additionally, its small size and portability allows it to be carried around the hospital in a regular work bag.”

Since making this realization, Dr. Taragin and his son have developed the project further and are looking to test it. Watch this video below of him explaining the project and read more about how it came to be and what his hopes for it are at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore CHAM Connections blog.

Watch Dr. Taragin discuss his work on his MRI project at the 2015 RSNA meeting

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