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To relax during MRI, kids watch videos on Cinemavision goggles

Posted on Nov. 7, 2013 ( comments)
Cinemavision arrived at Mary Bridge this summer, thanks to funding from the Mary Bridge Foundation.

For people of any age, an MRI can be a claustrophobic experience. For kids at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Wash., a pair of Cinemavision goggles lets them watch their favorite movies to relax without the need for sedation.

“It helps them hold still, and that’s what it’s all about,” said James Adams, lead MRI Tech.

Before she arrived at Mary Bridge, one 8-year-old girl went shopping with her Mom to pick out a DVD. She chose Disney's “Teen Beach Movie,” and brought the DVD with her to her MRI appointment.

An MRI tech helped the girl put on the Cinemavision goggles and started the movie, before she even entered the MRI for the scan.

A Child Life Specialist also helps the kids to make them feel comfortable and reduce anxiety.

“Kids can feel anxious if they've never had an MRI before, so when they watch a movie on Cinemavision, it’s a great way to help them relax and feel more comfortable during the procedure,” said Valerie Chance, a certified Child Life Specialist at Mary Bridge.

For kids who are old enough to hold still – usually age 7 or older – it’s a great alternative to sedation.

“They need a reason to focus on something to help them stay still,” Chance said. “They can put it on before they go in, so it helps with claustrophobia. They’ll start the movie before they even go in.”

Cinemavision arrived at Mary Bridge this summer, thanks to funding from the Mary Bridge Children's Foundation.

Studies have shown that entertainment during an MRI can help soothe anxious patients and minimize the claustrophobia that can disrupt exams. The result is often faster and more accurate exams and less time-consuming re-scans — leading to better and faster diagnoses.
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