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Has your child had an MRI?
41

AnnabelleQ · 09/01/2022 19:48

Hi, my daughter is 6 and due to have an MRI soon - I’m trying to decide whether to try it without general anaesthetic first. Just wondered if anyone has done it without, and how old your child is. Thanks.

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Bsmirched · 09/01/2022 19:52

I've had a few and I can't imagine a 6 year old coping with one if awake, especially if her whole body has to go in. They are noisy and claustrophobic.

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thestringcheesemassacre · 09/01/2022 19:54

Yes my daughter did. She was 9 so they sent us this video of what happens to watch with her. She’s quite a sensible child so even though she was quite scared we could could talk to her about it all. Can you ask them for tips on how to mana he?

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ofwarren · 09/01/2022 19:54

My 7 year old coped just fine without an anaesthetic.
You are allowed in the room with them and sit next to the machine.

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MustDust · 09/01/2022 19:57

Yes, DS has had 2 and we've been allowed to sit and hold his leg both times as the rest of him was in it. It's the noise that stresses him out but he's fine as long as we don't let go.

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chinateapot · 09/01/2022 19:58

My DD is now 9 and coming up to her 16th MRI, varying in length from 45 mins to 2.5 hours. First when she was 6 and she coped fine without anaesthetic. Find out how the hospital can support - she saw a play therapist and played with a Lego MRI machine first as well as listening to a YouTube video of the noises to prepare her. Some scanners she’s been in you can watch Netflix or a dvd, a couple she’s just been able to listen to music, if you find out which you can plan ahead with her what she’d like. Also find out if she’ll need a cannula for contrast - this upsets my DD more than anything else.

But it is very individual and some kids of the same age I know do need GA.

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serene12 · 09/01/2022 19:59

Some children’s hospitals have a play therapy service, which can help children to prepare for hospital procedures etc. You could ask the hospital.

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Comedycook · 09/01/2022 20:00

My DD had one when she was 5...they asked me if I thought she'd be able to be awake and perhaps watching a dvd during it but I knew she would not cope so she had a general anaesthetic. All was fine.

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OnlyFoolsnMothers · 09/01/2022 20:00

Yes but my child was only 2 so had to be asleep- honestly I wouldn’t have a 6 year old go through it awake

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Thedogshow · 09/01/2022 20:02

Yes several but all under general because he was small

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WhereIsMyGlasses · 09/01/2022 20:03

My son had one at 2 and he had a ga for it. He also had a ct scan around the same age but he was awake for that. I was with him wearing a protective vest and he was strapped in. He done ok, but it was a big ask to have that at that age, he was upset nearing the end of it. I think an older child, if they understand what's happening, could manage it ok.

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PippinAndMerry · 09/01/2022 20:04

My dd was older than yours but she was allowed to pick a dvd and they played that for her while she was in through headphones. She was annoyed when it was over and she didn't get to see all of the film.

Could that be an option?

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ImInACage · 09/01/2022 20:04

Mine has, he was 8, but has ADHD, so staying still was an issue. The hospital arranged for the play therapists to work with us, they showed him a Lego mri machine etc and one of them was able to stay in the room, along with myself whilst it was done. They did it in short bursts and gave him a squeeze ball to fiddle with and work out some entertaining in between bursts. It worked really well and was far less traumatic than a general would have been. It might be worth asking about play therapy and making a decision from there.

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childbenefitq · 09/01/2022 20:04

Yes but my child was 9 months...he was put asleep. I don't know what I would do at that age. I suppose it depends on the child. I hope all goes well @AnnabelleQ

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ImInACage · 09/01/2022 20:05

Energy, not entertaining!

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chinateapot · 09/01/2022 20:05

@OnlyFoolsnMothers honestly depends on the kid. My DD has also had 5 general anaesthetics and has been far more distressed with each of those than any of her awake MRI scans. Plus GA for MRI means a lot more time spent in hospital waiting around for it and currently the need for Covid testing beforehand in most places and the risk of cancellation is often higher too as scheduling is trickier.

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KurtWilde · 09/01/2022 20:07

My DD had one when she was 5 and it was general anaesthetic. Definitely the right choice as she was very ill and it lasted 2 hours, so she just wouldn't have coped.

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Einszwei · 09/01/2022 20:09

I would show her some videos on YouTube of the MRI and the noises it makes.

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SergeiL · 09/01/2022 20:09

I think it also depends on what part of the body. My daughter needed to have an MRI of her legs which I would guess was nowhere near as traumatic as a head or chest MRI.

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dynamitegirl · 09/01/2022 20:09

DS was 4 when he had an MRI of his head. You have to be 3 or under in our area (although they told me it was national) to have a GA. We went to see the play therapist and the watched some you tube videos. On the day, the nurse was quite forthright and basically just put him in it whilst he was mid tantrum and told him to be quiet which he was! Once it started, he was fine.

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CMOTDibbler · 09/01/2022 20:12

You can ask the MRI team how long it will take, and it you can hold her hand or if she can watch a screen during (some places can't do this) - I saw something recently where parents were able to lay head to head with very small children having heart scans so they were together, but that wouldn't be suitable for a brain scan.
It is noisy due to the way the machine works, and there are a lot of videos out there to explain, but I rather like the Lottie Lamb video explaining the process - here

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weebarra · 09/01/2022 20:13

Yes, DS1 has had several and also has adhd. He has had them all awake (he's 14 now) but has developed a needle phobia as he's had to have a canula for contrast. He has done quite a lot of work with the play therapist too.

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dunroamingfornow · 09/01/2022 20:13

Have you had an MRI yourself ? Only asking as that might give you an idea of what she will have to do on the day. I think so much of it depends on the individual child. My 3 yr old had to be sedated which wasn't great but was preferable to him having the scan awake as he wouldn't have been able to stay still. I was in the room with him and a nurse , just in case he 'woke up ' which apparently can happen. I have had several MRIs and found them terrifying. Wish I could've been under for them. I know others who don't mind them at all though so think it totally depends on the individual. Is sedation an option ?

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purplesequins · 09/01/2022 20:14

what part of the body?
dc had to have one of the leg/ankle at 8yo which was fine without sedation. but I don't think they would have been at 6 tbh.

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Yubaba · 09/01/2022 20:16

My dd is much older than yours but she’s had 2.
She didn’t like the first one which was about 1.5 hours but I was able to stay with her and chat to her between the bangs.
The 2nd one was in a children's hospital and she watched a DVD plus she knew what to expect the second time. Again I was able to stay with her in the room.
The 2nd one was about 2 hours because they missed something on the 1st one and they needed more details. She also has a full set of spinal X-rays and a CT scan on the same day which meant we were in for 4 hours having scans done!

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OddshoesOddsocks · 09/01/2022 20:22

My dd had one last year just after her 6th birthday. We weren’t given the option of a GA (just learned that it can be whilst reading this thread!)
We were given very little info or prep other than ‘don’t wear metal and bring a cd’.

That said, dd was absolutely fine, she listened to Julia Donaldson audio books and I was able to go in with her and sit by the machine. They gave her a button to press in case she felt it was too much and spoke to her beautifully before and after.

She didn’t need to press the button and tbh breezed through it. I think I struggled more!

Good luck x

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