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MRI for a baby, experiences? No sedation at 7 months

(36 Posts)
childcarehell Sun 07-Jul-13 22:20:44

DD, 7 months, is to have one. The plan is to feed her to sleep and sleep through it. I'm wondering how likely this is. She's an ok sleeper but not sure if it's a mad idea? Looking online they make a fantastic noise.

I'm not sure, now I've agreed to it on the spot, if it's the right plan. She's a happy baby but her left arm is tight, tends towards fisting but is functional. Very very difficult to move up. The left leg is weaker too, she holds it up or rolls her foot rather than weight bear on it. Her right arm is tighter than normal, but subtle. She can use this arm better, more accurate picking up things and can use it to balance. Less wild whole arm movement too. Her general development is mildly delayed, not yet rolling, only last week lifted her head whilst on her front. Otherwise she grows well, starting on solids too (spoon though, she can't get objects to her mouth).

I'm wondering as to the benefit of an MRI/ the likelyhood of finding an issue.

I'm not sure as to the implications of her symptoms, I'm torn between thinking there's an issue and thinking she'll grow out of this. At the back of my mind is cerebral palsy, but I'm wondering if muscle tightness (paed said 'rigidity') can reduce. The thing that threw him is that I said it's crept up on me, she was a floppy baby in my opinion before.

Thank you in advance for responses, I'm hoping this is a place where's there is experience.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 07-Jul-13 22:24:26

She won't sleep, it's far too noisy (clunky sounds etc) and she'll be unable to stay perfectly still for the time that they need (around 20 mins). They will have to sedate her as they won't do it otherwise. A MRI will show up any problems with her brain.

childcarehell Sun 07-Jul-13 22:27:22

They have clearly said she won't be sedated, the plan is to get her to sleep. I'm wondering if it's just a wasted journey/ stress on my part to even try it!

I think they are used to much younger ones doing it and with her being so small/ behind in her motor skills they think she'll react the same. At 7 weeks she would have slept, at 7 months I think she'll go mad...

childcarehell Sun 07-Jul-13 22:28:00

Mentioned they would 'wrap' her and encourage sleep confused

redwellybluewelly Sun 07-Jul-13 22:30:42

Hi, I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation.

MRIs are veey loud indeed, my DD1 had one at ten days old as she suffered a brain injury at birth and the drs needed to see what the extent of the damage was. We were asked about doing another when she was older and we felt for the stress of doing so we wouldn't if it wouldn't be a useful diagnostic tool. So I do understand your dilemma.

That said if there wrre no early indicators from a birth or neonatal incident the doctors may well glean additional information from an MRI which may give them further insights into what may be happening in your daughters case. Once they have more idea as to why this is happening they may be able to give you some solutions- ccertain drugs reduce rigidity and also good physiotherapy can go a long way to helping with movement and function.

Another thing to mention is that Cerebral palsy is just a label, it doesn't change the child you gave birth to and love, but it may give you access to therapy and help adapting your home as your daughter gets older. We had a dx of hemiplegic CP at just over a year, it was obvious bit good therapy and a mainstream nursery have been hugely beneficial.

Hope all goes well.

hazeyjane Sun 07-Jul-13 22:31:03

Ds had an MRI when he was 11 months and had a general anaesthetic for it, I remember a younger baby going in before us, also having a general.

amymouse Sun 07-Jul-13 22:32:24

I think it would be some fantastic luck if she slept through it- we had one when DD was 2 and used an oral sedative (like a pre-med). It didn't sedate her massively as she kept trying to wake up and thrashed around in the scanner. That said, somehow they managed to get the information they needed and a good scan after about 4 minutes rather than the 20 they were aiming for. I suspect that was pure luck rather than the norm. IME they use a sedative or general anaesthetic for scans, or can put them off.
If it is cerebral palsy, an MRI is not needed for diagnosis although it can be helpful. We had the diagnosis and the scan as an afterthought. Scans do not always show everything-we've now had 3 head scans and all look "normal" but DD defininetly has a form of CP. Her spasticity (tight muscles) have got more noticeable with age, but physio is a phenomenal help and there is an excellent thread on here from lots of very experienced parents.

childcarehell Sun 07-Jul-13 22:40:03

Thank you!

There are no indicators for an injury with dd, she was a (very) quick 36 week delivery and straight home.

I'm wondering the use of it:
1. She probably will not sleep (wrap?! I'm doubting they mean light swaddling...)
2. It's not going to change outcomes, maybe wait and see?

I was swayed at the time by him saying if they did it when she was any older they would use a general.

I'm quite relaxed about diagnosis, what will be will be. She's loved and I have a lot of experience with two sister with SN so I'm realistic and as ok as can be about difference. In my gut I feel something isn't right, but then I second-guess and wonder if I'm paranoid as the symptoms are pretty mild! I was expecting to be told to go home and stop fussing! I was taken aback when he suggested an mri. If fact I was taken aback when the GP referred her at all (seemed everyone else had noticed but me it turns out...)

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sun 07-Jul-13 22:45:21

If it makes no difference to the diagnosis then I wouldn't have it done as it would be distressing for her. Sounds like they are covering all of the basis though.

MumuDeLulu Sun 07-Jul-13 22:58:19

DS2 had an unsedated MRI. I forget how old. About 4-5m I think. They scheduled it for just after his normal nap time, I fed him to sleep on my lap then lifted him onto the scanner. He had funny little headphones to block out the noise. At one point he half woke up. They paused the scan for me to lean in and stroke his cheek to soothe him back to sleep

The swaddling thing was a sort of blanket, that they gradually blew-up until if formed a tight swaddle round him. A bit like the aircast boot that you sometimes get instead of a plaster cast for broken ankles.

I was impressed actually. They had 3 babies booked in for the after-lunch slots, to allow swapping round according to which baby was dozing off. If your baby didn't manage to get the scan you could simply come back another day to try, or they consider sedation etc.

mymatemax Sun 07-Jul-13 23:08:04

a friends baby has had a number of MRI's with no sedations (checking for changes in brain condition) only once has she not slept well enough.

If your dd is usually a good daytime sleeper then I'm sure she'll be fine

Bluebirdonmyshoulder Mon 08-Jul-13 10:56:55

bluechick had an MRI at 6 months and had a GA. I thought that was the protocol tbh.

ilovevenice Mon 08-Jul-13 23:21:16

My DS3 had an MRI aged 7 months, and had a GA. We weren't offered an option as far as I remember.

bookcase Tue 09-Jul-13 00:11:01

My DD had 3 MRI's unsedated when she was about 4-6mths. The first she woke and they had to stop after 10mins, the second (a week later) she stayed asleep for 20mins which was enough time to scan her brain but when they recallobrated the machine to do her spine she woke. Third week she slept long enough for the neck and spinal scans. Phew! We did have the scans at around 7pm to encourage her to sleep. I don't think this would have worked at 11mths though. She has breathing probs so they really didn't want to sedate.

childcarehell Tue 09-Jul-13 06:50:22

Thank you for sharing your experiences, very appreciated.

I think if her symptom s were severe we'd b looking at garden but as there's no rush or immediate danger they're relaxed about it not working. They said older they'd use a ga.

The I don't know what to make of it and if she needs one at all, she's hardly got the worst worries. She's happy and plump. The issues are
Rigidity, particularly in he left arm. It can be stretched but there's resistance and she doesn't like it.
Doesn't weight bear on her left leg
Mild motor delay, not rolling or sitting at seven months
Relaxes he left arm in a fist but can unfist, range of movement a bit poor.
I'd describe her arm movements as immature and jerky with less strength, this week she raised her new on he tummy. She has lots of tummy time and is happy, but just Lay there or strained.

really not sure if the expected prognosis is to expect issues or expect normal development in time. Really not sure

sneezecakesmum Tue 09-Jul-13 10:22:45

I think they want to do an MRI to rule out nasty stuff as well as find the reason for DDs delays. It's most likely a small stroke at birth or before, but they can't assume this is the cause, so an MRI is advisable.

An MRI without sedation is unlikely at her age as the noise is like a tube train going through a tunnel! Usually they sedate and its offered if natural sleep doesn't work.

If its cerebral palsy it sounds very mild and she has a good chance of managing with only minor problems, but a quick diagnosis will get services moving faster. Babies who develop CP are often floppy at birth.

childcarehell Sat 13-Jul-13 21:05:20

Thanks sneezecake mum, it was a brief comment but the doctor mentioned not using a GA and relying on sleep, nothing in between. The form though does have a section to record IV but this maybe a genric thing?

She started teething this week, I was optomistic but now I feel it's a waste of NHS resources to go! She is barely sleeping at all. They seem to be slow to move on it, took two weeks just to get the consent form so they can book a slot.

I switch so much between she's fine and worrying. I'm torn between looking at a bright bonny baby and worrying. She's probably rolling side to side, but she's adapted a funny way of doing it. She sticks all four limbs pointing up then quickly flops them to the side to shift her weight while remaining rigid and looking in the direction of her limbs. Odd cookie

Choccyjules Sat 13-Jul-13 21:14:56

Have PMed you.

childcarehell Mon 15-Jul-13 20:09:58


1. The scan is to be at a time she doesn't normally sleep
2. I can't feed her to sleep in the front, they want her to arrive asleep

I will search for the 'off' button confused

childcarehell Thu 18-Jul-13 10:12:22

I thought I'd update this for the sake of future gogglers...

It wasn't too bad, despite dd being awake. They ran about an hour behind so she'd finished her nap by the time we went in. I can't imagine anyone sleeping through it though, I had ear defenders on and it was LOUD.

DD was swaddled in a blanket (she can't roll anyway though and is quite immobile) and had the adult ear defenders on then her head wedged around with memory foam pieces.

It was only 8 min to do a brainscan, think it's a flashy new machine. Think we broke a new time record though! She cried, but not tons,she stilled in surprise for most the noises and the radiographer said the images were very good that she got.

They seemed surprised I was ok with the crying,but I'd prefer 8 min of crying on/ off (more moaning than distressed, a bit like bedtime...) than a general! I stayed and reached in with my hand patting her the entire time. She was moaning and squeaks of surprise, the last 2 min started to get a bit upset, couldn't have lasted longer. She is a very very placid baby who is fascinated by loud noise.

childcarehell Thu 18-Jul-13 10:14:08

Just to qualify LOUD, imagine putting a tin bath over your head with someone hitting it with a mallet then the worlds biggest light sabre being used to scan you...

MissDuke Fri 19-Jul-13 21:48:24

My dd had a GA for hers, and cried for a LOT more than 8 minutes when you take into account the tiredness and hunger before the procedure, and the anaesthetic wearing off after - so totally agree that 8 mins of crying is totally bearable!

I hope the results come through quickly for you x

sneezecakesmum Fri 19-Jul-13 22:34:13

Very loud, I agree. And the stripping off all bits of metal is weird!

Hope the results come through soon and there is nothing to worry about smile

childcarehell Sat 20-Jul-13 22:06:11

Thanks for the good wishes! I've got to cast it from my mind now. At my hospital you get the results at your next appointment, dd's is in december! I presume anything urgent would be fed back some way before, the radiologist said the doctors get a report of the mri after a week.

sneezecakesmum Sun 21-Jul-13 20:00:10

I really wouldnt wait until december to find out the results. the sooner they are known the sooner you will get physio, OT, maybe hydrotherapy etc. Ring up the paeds secretary after a week or so and ask for some info. Its not on to have to wait til december!

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