For kids it can be very hard to sit still, just ask any parent. So what do you do when the doctor calls for an MRI? Advances in technology are making this situation fun and much more kid friendly.
Addison Ecklein is a girl of few words. The compulsive giggler and her family are at Avera McKennan so Addison can get her head scanned by an MRI.
"She's just been having a lot of headaches with some seizure activity so we're just trying to rule out any further medical problems." Said Addison's mother Michelle Ecklein.
It's a process that can be nerve-wracking for anyone, not to mention a 5-year old girl. In the past, many children like Addison would have to be sedated in order to get scanned. Now they pop on some headphones and enjoy the show.
"We have a eliminated so many (sedation) cases due to these awesome MRI goggles!" Said Leah Krantz, the certified child life specialist Avera Children's Hospital.
Think of them as your own personal movie screen and you get to choose what to watch during your scan. So what movie did Addison pick?
"Gnomeo and Juliet!" Said Addison Ecklein.
"We're going to get started, it's gonna be very loud and noisy just hold very still." Says the Rad Tech over the headset.
The noises during the scan can be jarring and the MRI tube restricting. But with the MRI goggles on, all Addison sees and hears are a handful of rambunctious gnomes.
"It's fun and it's interacting they're less stressed, their anxiety level has gone down a lot, and they don't have to be sedated! it's patient satisfaction and parents are happy and pleased with it." Said Krantz.
"Hey Addison, you're doing really good we're about halfway done!" Says the Rad Tech.
With Addison distracted, Michelle can relax while she watches and waits at her daughter's side. The goggles offer plenty of relief for parents, but for the medical team, it's making them more efficient.
"It reduces the length of time; Addison's procedure with sedation could've lasted up to an hour it lasted 20 minutes. So children get out faster and they get more MRIs done quicker." Said Krantz.
"Addison we're all finished we'll be right in to get you out of the machine great job!" Says the Rad Tech.
With scans being done in half the time the radiology team can scan more patients everyday; and maybe enjoy a movie or two.
"They've been very supportive with us, they've been a great team to work with the child life team and our pediatric department to reduce sedation and have a familiar face with them and they've just been so welcoming to this new process of these goggles." Said Krantz.
Addison was a rock star during her scan and hopefully she won't have to come back. But if she does at least she knows she's got mom and the movies to get her through it.
Michelle: To be able to be in there with her, I think helped her stay calm.
Addison: No, the movie!
Michelle: Ok the movie helped (laughs).
The goggles are not just for children, even adults are seeing the benefit. But so far children as young as three have been able to do sedation free MRI scans thanks to these goggles. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.