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JOURNAL
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Our investment in paediatric MRI scanning

April 7, 2023
Living Room Health Children MRI Scanning

Dr Qaiser Malik is a consultant radiologist and Clinical Director of Radiology at Living Room Health. He has helped make it easier than ever before for people to get an MRI scan and now this includes access for children (age 10-18). From Saturday sporting injuries to monitoring more serious conditions, our paediatric scanning service can assist on their treatment pathway.

Tell us, are children allowed to have an MRI scan?

The simple answer is yes, but it can be quite challenging for parents and carers to get these scans as there aren’t many places that offer children MRI. Living Room Health has invested in this to make sure that we can provide for this important cohort of patients. We have expert staff, who are trained to work with children to help them feel at ease. A provider also needs to have a child friendly environment, which is not always possible in a healthcare setting. We have designed our centres to make sure that we cater for children, including a waiting area for children.

"There aren't many places that can MRI children. We've invested in the measures to allow us to cater for this important cohort of patients."

Are Living Room Health MRI scanners child friendly?

So the most important thing is that our MRIs are ‘open scanners’ meaning they are much more comfortable and less intrusive. The technology used means they are a lot smaller than traditional MRI and considerably less noisy, making the whole experience more easy. Your child will not have to remove any clothing for their scan.  They will need to lay still for 30-60 min depending on the body part being scanned. During this time, we can play their favourite music or radio show, and their relative or carer can be in the room with them.

Why is it important children and families have access to MRI?

MRI can diagnose and monitor a variety of conditions in both adults and children. However, it can be very difficult to diagnose conditions in children because, unlike adults, they are not as good at describing symptoms and giving their medical history. Examining children can also be challenging, therefore, scanning technology allows an accurate clinical diagnosis. It’s important to make a quick diagnosis in children, to prevent any long-term complications. We always try to scan them as early as possible if it’s deemed to be the appropriate course of action.

"It can be very difficult to diagnose conditions in children because, unlike adults, they are not as good at describing symptoms and giving their medical history. Examining children can also be challenging, therefore, scanning technology allows an accurate clinical diagnosis."

Does a child require sedation for an MRI scan?

You might think that there needs to be sedation for a child to have an MRI scan, but this isn’t the case unless it’s a very small child. Sometimes you use sedation for babies or new-borns because they can’t keep still. Our MRIs are open for children from the ages of 10-18 so sedation isn’t required here.

How have Living Room Health prepared for MRI scanning children?

One of the key things about scanning and treating children is that you need to make sure that you have the appropriate safeguarding levels of training, specifically trained staff and special provisions for children, which a lot of centres are not able to provide. At Living Room Health we have invested in these measures because we feel that children should also have access to MRI.

If you would like to book an MRI scan for yourself or someone else, you can do so here.