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Space Odyssey: MRI suite launches plans for child-friendly face lift

15 November 2019

Fundraising

The Fundraising team at Southend Hospital is looking to raise £31,500 to make the MRI suite more child-friendly.

The aim is to use the money to create a space-themed environment which will make the MRI experience more tolerable and less daunting for young patients.

Currently there are no provisions in place to accommodate for children's needs, but this new feature will help create a more relaxing and enjoyable environment.

Young patients will be able to watch an introductory video on an iPad explaining what happens during a MRI scan and there will also be some 3D interactive apps offering an insight into what it will be like inside the scanner. A mini toy MRI scanner will then allow children to understand the process and become familiar with the noise. The scan room will be space decorated to tap into a child's imagination. Once the scan starts, there will be the opportunity for the child to watch a DVD of their choosing via a periscope mirror with the 'relax and view video system'.

Jacci Dearman, Lead Paediatric Radiographer for MRI, said: "The MRI scan can last anything from 20 minutes up to 1 hour and this can be a daunting experience for a child. With this new feature, there is huge potential to make the experience more tolerable for our younger patients. It's a distraction technique that will subsequently improve the quality of the scan as children are less likely to move during the scan."

If you are part of a community group, school, college, local business or just keen to get involved, then please get in touch to find out more (01702 385337 or fundraising@southend.nhs.uk)